Chrysler 200

The Chrysler two-minute “Born of Fire” commercial featuring Detroit rapper Eminem generated significant pride in American workers, Detroit and America when it first aired during the super bowl among a lot of otherwise forgettable advertisements.

When I first saw it, I thought the “Imported from Detroit” message was strong and the execution superb. I also admired the guts of whoever wrote and approved what easily could have bombed. Can’t you hear most clients saying something such as: “Let me understand, you want me to bet my company praising one of our most depressed cities? No one wants a product from Detroit anymore.”

I admit that I did wonder how the message would age. Since then, the campaign continues to run and has received a few fairly harsh commentaries in addition to a majority of positive discussions.

I find the message is as satisfying today as when I first saw it.

This reaction could be as simple as having an emotionally uplifting message resonate partially because the debt-ceiling debate debacle and the significant decline in consumer confidence and stock market.

Perhaps the two lessons are to:

  • Have the guts to make courageous decisions, and
  • Emotions are more powerful than product specifics (although the commercials do include quality and design).
    • As Dale Carnegie said: “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.”

The agency that created Imported from Detroit, Wieden+Kennedy is from Portland, Oregon. Of course, if this is ever turned into a Hollywood movie, the agency will be from Detroit.

About Richard Sellers

Richard is Chairman Emeritus of the Marketing Executives Networking Group, founder of Demand Marketing consulting firm, and former Sr. VP of Marketing for three multi-billion dollar companies: CEC, WLP, and Service Merchandise. His early career was at GE, P&G, Playtex, and Marketing Corporation of America. He’s also a volunteer counselor for SCORE assisting small businesses in upstate New York. You can follow his communications about marketing, job search and careers here and at mengonlineENTREPRENEURS QUESTIONS, and on Twitter at @Sellers_Richard.

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"Chrysler Advertising" by @ShellyPalmer

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