Voiceover : I got a question for you. What does this city know about luxury, huh? What does a town that's been to Hell and back know about the finer things in life? Well I'll tell ya. More than most. You see, it's the hottest fires that make the hardest steel. Add hard work and conviction and know how that runs generations deep in each and every one of us. That's who we are. That's our story. Now it's probably not the one you've been reading about in papers. The ones being written folks who have never been here - who don't know what we're capable of. Because when it comes to luxury it's as much about where it's from as who it's for. Now we're from America but this isn't New York City. Or the Windy City. Or Sin City. And we're certainly not anyone's Emerald City.
Eminem: This is the Motor City and this is what we do.
Super: The Chrylser 200 has arrived.
This well-written, beautifully shot and edited 2 minute spot is a textbook example of an advertising rookie mistake. The 9+ million dollar spot introduced the Chrylser 200. Let's see how well the introductions went.
Can you name one feature of the 200?
If you said luxury you'd be wrong. Dead wrong. The Chrysler 200 is not a luxury sedan. It is a mid-size sedan competing against the Chevy Malibu and the Ford Fusion. Those are not luxury sedans either. The Chrylser 300 is the luxury sedan. Why didn't Chrysler use the 300 for this spot? Easy. It's not made in Detroit or even America. It's made in Canada.
The second product feature that was almost mentioned was steel. All cars, even electric ones are made from steel.
Historically, when a company pays a spokesman a million or more, they usually can get him to say something complimentary in nature about the product he's agreed to hawk. What was it Eminem said?
"This is the Motor City and this is what we do."
Let's unpack those words shall we? The Motor City is the home of not just Chrylser, but the fabled home of the Big 3; Ford, Chrysler, and GM. But only one of the Big 3 -GM- maintains (most of) its corporate offices in Detroit. Chrysler doesn't have one dealership in Detroit -the Obama Administration targeted and closed the final one- much less corporate offices. Admittedly it is interesting business decision to hire Eminem to hawk Chrylser and then use him not to hawk Chrylser but all 3 car companies and as well as the city of Detroit in just 2 lines of copy. Especially since GM and Ford -especially Ford- are kicking Chrylser's figurative butt in sales. As for the commercial's claim of a town being to Hell and back just flip through the coffee table book Detroit In Ruins to see that Detroit -thanks to the Democrats -is still fresh Hell for those who actually reside there. Eminem lives way out -about an hour drive- in the posh 'burbs.
It would have been far better ad-wise but perhaps far too addie for the West Coast ad guys -translation - not car ad guys --who did this ad to actually have the Chrysler spokesman, Eminem say something positive about Chrylser. I understand it may have been too much to ask him to say something nice about the car he had just been driving around America's most bombed-out-by-Liberalism city but couldn't Eminem at least have uttered the word "Chrylser"?
I guess not.
If you needed proof Rookie President Obama's bailout of Chrysler isn't going well, this ad gave you it. But those of us that know a tiny bit about the car industry, Detroit, and the bankruptcy processwhere the Obama Adminstration put the rights of the UAW ahead of private property rights causing the gentleman of gentle men, Michael Barone to say we just witnessed an episode of ganster government knew it was never going to go well. All you had to do was look at the before/after product lineup of one of Chrylser's previous owners -Daimler- before a privity equity firm and then now owners the UAW/government and anyone can see Chrysler had been nicely fleeced by the Germans. Not much left for the UAW to fleece but thankfully they know this and have moved onto the American taxpayers. In fact right now the newer models of Merecedes on the road all over the better neighborhoods and ghettos of America are Chrylsers. True, they are Chryslers that know luxury but still Chryslers all the same. If you want a true luxury Mercedes buy a pre-1998 model.
Back to the rookie ad mistake combined with the rookie President's even bigger mistake - Jimmy Carter - the most-failed president until Obama assumed office did the first bailout of Chrylser much better. But then Chrysler was being run by a real car guy - not the UAW or some government -approved number cruncher who believes in man-made global warming. Princeton grad-turned- car exec Lee Iacocca who came up the ranks of Ford was running Chrysler. Iacocca put his reputation as well as Chrysler's on the line when he negotiated the bailout. This time no one's reptutation on the line unless you think the UAW has a positive one. President Obama is losing his if a CNN poll from yesterday is to be believed - 51% of voters polled by CNN don't think he worthy of a second term. Ouch. Carter's bailout was a fraction of the cost of Obama's - Congress co-signed the note for 1.5 billion. Obama handed over 15 billion of taxpayer money. The first note was paid back in full plus with a profit in 3 years time. Now Chrysler is saying they need more.
As noted earlier, Iacocca put his reputation on the line with the bailout and then even more on the line by becoming Chrylser's advertising spokesman. Look at how differently he sold cars and his company. In 30 seconds he was able to give the consumers more than one reason to buy a Chrylser. Something the current spokesman was unable to do in 2 minutes:
As we all know, as bad as those Chryslers were, they sold like hotcakes in the last months of Carter's first term. Not going to happen this time around. They'll still be sitting on the car lots for the rest of his second term.
It will take a Republican to unload them. Hey, didn't Mitt Romney's dad* once run American Motors? That's right. And didn't Iacocca buy American Motors so he could get ahold of the Jeep....
*This should not be read as an endorsement of Mitt Romney for 2012 but as more proof -if you still needed it- that everyone else who ran for 2008 was more qualified to be president than Obama. Even Sarah Palin.