Chrysler’s ad touchdown

6 02 2012

No matter which team you had money on Sunday night, the Superbowl gave us all at least one thing we can all feel good about: the new Chrysler ad featuring Clint Eastwood.

I don’t have anything bad to say about the ad itself. It was great – everything a commercial should be, and more.

Or was it a thinly veiled campaign ad for Eastwood's soon-to-be-announced presidential run?

It permitted me to forget, for a moment, the ignominy of the Chrysler bailout. It helped me overlook the fact that, despite the ad’s flag-waving, Chrysler is owned by the proudly non-American Fiat.

I was even excited to see that Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit” slogan actually applied to one of the vehicles briefly featured in the spot – no, not the the Challenger (Brampton, Ontario), the Ram Power Wagon (Saltillo, Mexico) or the the Jeep Wrangler (Toledo, Ohio), but the rather the Jeep Grand Cherokee (built at Detroit’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant).

The ad isn’t going to save the Motor City by itself; it isn’t supposed to. If it helps move a bit more Detroit sheet metal off the lots, it did its job admirably.

But the commercial went a bit deeper than most Super Bowl fare. It’s sure to get people talking – and not just about Chrysler. I’m more averse to political metaphors involving football than most (this piece’s title aside), so maybe it was Clint’s gravelly voice that got to me. It really is halftime in America. We’ve suffered some serious blows, had some time to catch our breath, and hopefully, gained some perspective. It should be self-evident by now that our current strategy is going to need some serious revision if we’re going to get back on our feet.

For a relatively trivial example of what’s at stake, look no further than the commercial itself. The cars featured in the ad, while arguably the finest and most desirable currently offered by Chrysler, weren’t the environmentally-friendly transportation pods of the future. True, they might be the cars Americans¬† want, but they’re not the cars our politicians think we need. It’s doubtful that a middle-class American will be able to afford a high-performance Challenger once increasingly stringent CAFE standards take effect.

Of course, we risk losing more than compelling vehicles if we continue down the road to bureaucratic serfdom. Everything, from our short-term standard of living to our long-term prosperity, is on the line if we don’t take action. It’s a bit ironic that an ad from Chrysler, of all companies, might help open the public’s eyes.

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3 responses

6 02 2012
kolin

And the conservative talk radio has already turned it inot a “pro collectivism ad.” Is nothing a-political these days?

6 02 2012
Graham Kozak

And statists are quick to use the ad to point out the so-called successes of the auto bailouts. Man is a political creature, so life is, was, and always will be, politics. The trick is to make your message more attractive. Having it actually make sense is a good starting point…

8 02 2012
They just don’t make misogynist ads like they used to « Graham Kozak’s Blog

[…] you thought Clint Eastwood’s “Halftime in America” promo was causing major controversy, just imagine the epic outrage firestorm that would erupt if Dodge decided to run the copy from […]

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