Seen by approximately one in every three Americans, Super Bowl 46 in Indiana’s Lucas Oil Stadium was a closely matched showdown between two NFL football teams with only victory in mind. On the field, the New York Giants resisted the last-second charge of the New England Patriots for the glory of this Sunday sporting classic. Apart from the battle on the gridiron, corporations have been spending on average 3.5 million dollars for every 30 seconds of commercial time in order to win over the vast television viewing public.
Auto companies again utilized breaks during this big game as an attempt to woo purchasers of what is often their second-most costly expenditure. For the 2012 game, Chevrolet bought several commercial spots, an Audi S7 Sportback inadvertently battled vampires and Mathew Broderick took a day off with the 2012 Honda CR-V. For the second year in a row, Chrysler’s Super Bowl advertisement garnered an MVP award-worthy play during halftime of the Big Game.
Compiling the revered “Imported from Detroit” marketing campaign into a two-minute spot for the 2011 Super Bowl, it was unarguable that Chrysler advertisement ran on emotions rare conveyed by a commercial. To the musical background of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”, a Chrysler sedan roared down the Detroit streets implying a shared sense of deviance to surrender to the worst of a broken economy. For the 2012 ad titled “Halftime in America”, Chrysler’s message was sent poignantly to an entire country.
Narrating and appearing in the Chrysler commercial was true American fixture Clint Eastwood. Through his signature raspy, low-toned voice, Eastwood initiated the Chrysler spot stating “It’s halftime”. Suggesting the NFL Championship at hand, television viewers were quickly introduced to halftime being a grander, symbolic reference. “It’s halftime in America, too. People are out of work and they’re hurting. And they’re all wondering what they’re going to do to make a comeback. And we’re all scared, because this isn’t a game.” Eastwood declared. In the advertisement, a visual of Americans from many walks of life. Instead of the chorus resisting failure on last year‘s ad, Chrysler’s 2012 Super Bowl commercial leaves on a note of rallying optimism with Clint Eastwood saying, “This country can’t be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again and when we do the world is going to hear the roar of our engines.”
Though possessing a primary purpose of luring customers to buy Chrysler Group products, the spirit and words of the 2012 Super Bowl commercial is profound enough to motivate the general American public searching for the strength inside. Advocating the notion of an entire nation acting as one to combat even the most difficult decisions for a country, this attitude of some political pundits following the Sunday night Super Bowl commercial deeply contrasted the message. On Monday, several news shows read the Chrysler advertisement as a politically motivated act. Rather than showing the progress that Americans in the auto industry have made in only a short time, analysts and commentators felt the message was instead a shaming of those who did not support the United States auto company in its time of need. It seems disappointing that the accomplishments for a large group of people rising up in a tough economy (labourers, engineers, designers, accountants, salespeople and even the executives) has become another casualty of a presidential election year’s selfish, hurtful politics.
David Kelleher, President of Chrysler’s National Dealer Council representing 2,300 dealership outlets shared a statement February 8th relating to the “Halftime in America television ad. Kelleher stated the commercial theme was “… simply a recount of the achievement of Chrysler, and its dealers who sacrificed and drove to take this American icon from depths during the national economic downturn to the success we have accomplished to date.“ The statement ended with David Kelleher saying, “We have no doubt that this ad had no political agenda of any kind but rather a statement of fact and hope for the future for all of us and America.”
The spokesperson of the commercial Clint Eastwood was also confronted with questions that the Chrysler message demonstrated his so-called political leaning. Eastwood was required defend himself against words indicating no direct political message. For those who wanted to bring Clint Eastwood’s political past (that included serving as a mayor of Carmel, California) into the debate of this Chrysler commercial, he has shown an unapologetic ability see both sides of the story. Like so many Americans, Clint Eastwood overall appears only to support ideas, not parties.
A third and final detail of the 2012 Super Bowl ad considered Chrysler’s claim of nationality. On YouTube, there was at least one comment aware that the promotion the United States in the television ad does contain a taste of irony. Realizing that Chrysler is majority owned by Italy’s Fiat Group, Chrysler is not a purest’s idea of an American auto company. In an auto sector where global diversity is being exercised to build cost effective, reliable vehicles, every car brand can carry many flags. The recent automotive marketplace has become a situation where product nationality considers the people who build and sell a vehicle.
As inspiring or controversial the commercial “It’s Halftime in America“ is overall, Chrysler appears determined to continue fighting its game that has netted some major advances. Chrysler was able to boast the efforts of the company, employees and the loyal customers succeeded together to refire the automaker’s production engines. Leaving 2011 with year-end sales 26 percent higher than 2010, the regenerated Chrysler Group left the year posting the highest 12-month increase of the Detroit Three auto companies. Chrysler products enter this year 44 percent more customer sales in January 2012 than compared to a year ago. This 2012 Super Bowl Chrysler commercial promotes an auto company ready to introduce new products such as the Dodge Dart and SRT Viper less than three years following the near ruins of bankruptcy.
Information, video and photo source: Chrysler Group