Imported from Detroit – Super Bowl Ad Goes Political

Chrysler spent a bomb. During the world’s most expensive advertising slots, they bought two minutes in the Super Bowl to promote…America.

“Half Time in America” is less an ad about cars and more an homage to patriotism and America’s fighting spirit. Narrated by Clint Eastwood, the film shows images of despondent individuals pulling their lives together after unemployment, political rivalry, loss and despair. (Please note intentional replacement of the word ‘commercial’ with the term ‘film’.)

Lessons can be learned from, of all places, Detroit. The hard scrabble capital of America has taken the punches and survived. In fact the renaissance of American auto manufacturing is powering an uptick in jobs in that city, state and region.

Having lived and worked in Detroit I can attest to the Motor City’s resilience. Two years ago BBC World reported from an aid organisation providing meals in “the epicentre of the Great Recession.” Coffee table books abound showcasing the slow collapse of the inner city. Woodward Avenue – the principal street through the city – has pawn shops and liquor stores.

Photographs by Andrew Moore
Haunting images in exceptional photo book by Andrew Moore

Now the Big Three auto manufacturers are rebounding. And so is Detroit.

And to showcase their belief in a second chance, automotive company Chrysler funded the half-time Super Bowl salute to America. Take the time to see the clip below.

But that was yesterday.

Today Clint Eastwood is having to respond to claims he’s promoting President Obama (who is half-way through his two term limit). The Huffington Post reports Eastwood denying an affiliation.

Yet despite claims it is a political ad, most viewers see it as a tribute to the American spirit. And the choice of Clint Eastwood is perfect – just check out the hash tag #MansMan and you’ll see a list of tributes to Clint.

At the end of the ad is a very clever and very effective tag line – Imported From Detroit. This links Chrysler to the heart of fighting America – the town of third, fourth and fifth chances. And it shows America still has another half to go.


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