Chrysler’s Super Bowl Surprise!

Chrysler's Clint Eastwood Super Bowl ad

Amidst all the over-the-top advertising consisting of naked M&Ms, marrying bacon, and prank-pulling monkeys, a dark figure menacingly but inspirationally put the “super” back in Super Bowl advertising.

From the first scratchy-voiced pronouncement of “It’s halftime,” it was immediately clear the shadowed figure was none other than Clint Eastwood. And there was no doubt which company was responsible for bringing us its second Super Bowl masterpiece in as many years: Chrysler.

On Friday I said I wouldn’t watch any Super Bowl ads before the game. I’m glad I didn’t, because I enjoyed seeing Acura’s Seinfeld/Leno ad, Honda’s Ferris Bueller ad, Chevy’s apocalypse ad, Audi’s vampire ad and FIAT’s Abarth ad. Good stuff.

But I was really hoping Chrysler would jump in with a surprise.

And did it ever. The Chrysler ad was, well, it was what a Super Bowl commercial should be. In an epic 120 seconds during halftime, Eastwood managed to sum up the state of a city, the auto industry and a country while giving reason to believe a that a second-half rally is coming. That people will gather themselves, work together and create a better tomorrow.

Incredibly, Chrysler’s ad didn’t directly sell Chrysler vehicles. Instead, through the gritty inspiration only Clint Eastwood could provide, the ad sold the turnaround of the entire Detroit auto industry (including Ford and General Motors by default) and the coming of better times in America, where “the world will hear the roar of our engines.”

In reality, that roar might come from 4-cylinder MultiAir or small hybrid engines, but still, it was the best commercial of the game. I admit, though, it was a close call with the MetLife ad that had my childhood hero, Voltron, valiantly return to the airwaves.

What was your favorite car ad from the game yesterday?


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  1. Oh, and just a reminder that Chrysler is majority owned by Fiat. (And before that, Daimler.) As such, I don’t consider it to be an American car company and hasn’t been for quite a while.

  2. You folks are buying ad hype. There’s very little car production left in Detroit, the city is a wasteland of drugs and murder with corrupt politicians fighting over the carcass, and Clint Eastwood is an ACTOR from California who wouldn’t live in Michigan if you paid him. (Well, actually he did get paid to live in Michigan for a few weeks when he was filming Gran Torino.)

  3. @
    That’s exactly right, it did promote all of Detroit… but did so with images of Chrysler vehicles. Understated and classy… as opposed to GM’s crass dig at Ford trucks in its apocalypse spot. Well played, Chrysler.

  4. I don’t know…I don’t think it did a good job at promoting Chrysler’s products. If anything, it did a good job at promoting Detroit’s wares, including those from GM and Ford.

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