February 7, 2011
This is how we roll in Detroit…
Auto advertisers carried the day at Super Bowl XLV. Heralding a comeback to marketing muscle, numerous car companies outdid themselves and each other in terms of blockbuster ads. Not only were many automakers in the Super Bowl, many of their ads were damn good and some even great. Volkswagen, Chevy, Chrysler, Mercedes, Hyundai, Audi; Did I miss anyone? They came out firing on all cylinders.
In my opinion leaders of the pack were Chevy and Chrysler, two American car companies that not too long ago were running on vapors. Not this night. Chevy’s tongue in cheek living storyboard for Camaro was brilliant. Two dudes talk about their idea of a badass commercial and we see it come to life.
The pretend ‘local’ Chevy spot that morphs into a Transformers riff was an absolute hoot. When it began, I really wondered how in the hell some Podunk dealership could possibly afford a Super Bowl spot. Then the featured car turns into a mean-as-hell Transformer wreaking havoc on the lot. I don’t much care for the Transformer movies but the marketing synergy and mock-sleazy production were spot on.
But for me the only commercial that riveted me to my seat –stopping traffic if you will- was the two-minute opus for Chrysler. Frankly, I didn’t even like everything about it (the car, for one, wasn’t that special), yet the film was still powerful enough to be the best commercial of the night. Featuring one of Eminem’s signature beats and then the man himself, Chrysler told the story of Detroit’s rise and fall and rise again with verve, machismo and righteousness. The controversial tagline, “Imported from Detroit” made it cherry. They are the motor city, after all.
Was this film more a love letter to Detroit than a car commercial? Perhaps. But maybe that’s okay. They are the motor city, after all.