Did you catch that Chrysler 200 Super Bowl commercial featuring Detroit's own Eminem? Did it fill you up with American pride to see the Motor City celebrating its own? What if we told you it was a whole lot of bull-pucky?
The second of two Eminem appearances in Super Bowl ads, it was the only one that seemed to make any sense (really, Lipton, what does a Slim Shady puppet have to do with iced tea?). Marshall Mathers' story and that of his hometown have a lot in common: hard times begets something good. In this case it's the sleek Chrysler 200, which we're supposed to buy because it will make up for all the crappy scenes of the Motor City we just saw on TV.
“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…and we’re certainly no one’s Emerald City," says the narrator (before Eminem breaks in). Oh, they're good. You can buy a car, and it will make you a better American.
Only problem? It's not exactly an American car company anymore. Buy Chrysler 200, and you might as well send your money to Italy. Just last month, Fiat’s Sergio Marchionne announced he's angling for a majority share in Chrysler. The Italian company already owns a controlling 20 percent share of the "American" automaker, and Marchionne told reporters:
I think it is possible, I don't know whether it is likely, but it is possible that we go over the 50 percent if Chrysler decides to go to the market in 2011.
But, but, I thought Chrysler was all about Detroit? Just watch the ad:
I'll admit it was a good bit of PR for the city as a whole. The Super Bowl is the biggest TV spectacle of the year with the most viewers. Half of us watch it for the commercials. And after the recent rating by Forbes as one of the 20 most miserable cities in America, the downtrodden city got some much-needed national attention. As Eminem said, “This is the Motor City, and this is what we do." It's no wonder some of my Detroit-based buddies immediately shared it on their Facebook walls.
But this wasn't an ad by the Detroit tourism board or the chamber of commerce. It was an ad made by Chrysler with one goal in mind: to sell you a car. And while that car is technically made in Detroit -- they injected just enough truth to skirt the line of false advertising -- it's not the happy story I've been reading from Detroit celebrants today. This is an American company that, if it's turned around, will benefit rich men in Italy.
It's enough to give me pause before I share this one on Facebook. . . or run out to buy a car. How about you? Does this change your opinion of the Eminem ad?
Image via YouTube