I’ve become a cynic over the years. Whether I’m working in the business, teaching advertising, or appearing in the media to discuss the Super Bowl commercials each year, what I’ve really become, for the most part, is a curmudgeon – ready to rip the poor strategy, unfunny humor, and “forced outrageous’ that I’ve come to expect. Not that I don’t have good reason. Most of the ads, as I see them, lack real creativity. They’re in poor taste (that’s you, Groupon) or just stupid (that’s you, “user created” Dorito’s spots, AdMeter notwithstanding).
But this year one spot got to me. And I don’t know why. My “marketing brain” could attack it all day, with thoughts like “it doesn’t follow that hardscrabble working folks know how to make a better luxury car.” Or, “yeah, people won’t buy a car because of the city in which it’s made.”
No matter. The Chrysler spot featuring the gritty voice-over and and appearance by Eminem was just terrific. Simply because it made me feel something, rather than just think about it. A little light on logic? Lack of real product benefit? Maybe. But it just made me feel defensive on behalf of a much-maligned city that, when you come right down to it, was making great cars when all those other “hot” cities were corn fields. It gave me more “buy American” emotion in two minutes than I’ve felt in 20 years of watching spots that attempted to do the same thing through gimmicks, bravado, earnest claims, tough-talking CEOs and many other tactics.
In fact, I’m going to quit here, I don’t want to analyze it. I just want to watch it again. Sure, maybe I’ve been manipulated. So what? Run to your little Starbucks with your laptop and your 4G network and hit me with a snotty little comment. D-town couldn’t care less, and today, neither could I. Good job, Chrysler.