Saturday, February 11, 2012

Good enough for a parody.

          I just saw the parody of the Chrysler Super Bowl commercial on YouTube. I'm not going to link it here because it's quite opinionated and political. But how many commercials get parodied?

          The Chrysler spot was the big topic of discussion in advertising this week. It was two minutes long and Clint Eastwood was, well, terrific. So was the writing. The commercial was created by Wieden+Kennedy in Portland, Oregon.

          The question on the table is whether the commercial itself was political. About "America at Halftime", was it a a big thank-you to President Obama, whose administration bailed out Chrysler and hustled it through bankruptcy. I don't think it was, although I have to admit that idea did flash through my mind when I saw it during the game.

          I think the commercial was a natural follow-up to the one Chrysler ran during the Super Bowl last year. They had Eminem tell about hard-working Detroit's passion for automobiles and the guts, the talent of those in the Motor City. Detroit has made an amazing comeback.

         All the controversy stirred up this year has probably helped Chrysler. The viewings on YouTube and elsewhere are around five million, and the company reports renewed interest at the dealerships.

         If anything, the commercial was patriotic, I think, and patriotic commercials at the right time do stir things up a bit. Years ago, my creative team did the advertising for Zenith color television sets. We were battling Sony and Panasonic. We created a print and TV campaign celebrating the American worker, and how American craftsmanship earned Zenith the highest honors in survey after survey. Sales climbed even in the face of the new competition.

        Today, it's hard to find Zenith television sets. They're sold to hotels and you'll find them in some big appliance stores. I don't know who makes them or where they're made.

        The American worker is still to be celebrated, and our interest in making things well is still with us.
Clint Eastwood stated it forcefully.

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