« Previous Post | Show Tracker Home | Next Post »

Super Bowl Ad Tracker: Chrysler, Eminem proclaim Detroit is still alive

This 2-minute long Chrysler ad during the Super Bowl wasn't so much a promotion for a new model; it was an editorial in defense of a beleaguered Detroit and, perhaps, a withering philosophy of what America is about. 

Eminem, a Detroit native, returns for his second spot of the night in what is a magnificent tribute to the city that has been plagued by all the ills that an urban area could possibly face. And it's a message to stay strong. 

In a way, it's also more than a message about Detroit. As BMW also showed in an ad featuring the plant making its X3 model, it's honoring a time when America was about making things -- real, hulking tangible pieces of machinery. It stood in contrast to the rest of the ads for things we click on, things made far, far away, things created by people sitting behind a desk (not that there's anything wrong with that). 

Chrysler seems to say that Detroit isn't dead, and maybe the spirit of Americans making things isn't dead either.

-- Rick Rojas

Comments () | Archives (26)

Wow, what a great spokesperson for Chrysler... a rap star who uses filthy lyrics and is hated by every parent in America.

Great move, Chrysler... nice use of taxpayer dollars.

Hey Jenny, I am a parent and grandparent and I don't hate Eminem, so please speak for yourself. Personally I have lived and worked in the Detroit area all my 60 years. I am very pleased with the ad. It shows Detroit like it is. It's a great place to live and work. And I don't think I've seen a better synopsis than this Chrysler ad.

Great ad. But I'm not sold on the Detroit thing.

My mother grew up in Detroit, and I've been going there regularly all my life. My mother's childhood house is not in the areas of burned-out abandoned houses and vacant land. Nor is it located in a hip neighborhood downtown being colonized by artists. It is in just another Detroit neighborhood full of houses and businesses.

But in my 30 years visiting there, I have seen things go in only one direction: down. The neighborhood commercial districts are not doing well. As a child, I took the bus all the way downtown with my grandmother to go to Boblo Island amusement park. I "repeated" the journey recently recently as an adult, driving down Grand River all the way. I noticed how so many of the local businesses I remembered had shut down and been replaced with --- NOTHING. As I drove further, I was shocked as I cruised past miles of burned-out homes and vacant land --- and at how little traffic there was remaining on this grand boulevard.

Once I got downtown --- the empty Hudson's building is a stark reminder of how far things have fallen. That building is HUGE --- and now gone. And the train station too. Even Boblo was gone. The Renaissance Center was beautiful as always --- but it is now over 30 years old, and things have only gone downhill since THAT renaissance. We took a cruise along the Detroit river, and that WAS a lot of fun.

I don't just see Detroit on TV, I see it in person. And regardless of what Eminem and Chrysler say, Detroit has some very serious problems. Sorry for not feeling more sentimental about Motor City, it is not a place where I would want to live or work.

The ad is also disingenuous because Chrysler, just like GM and Ford, has spread its operations far beyond Detroit. The Wikipedia article below lists only 10 out of 24 plants actually in Detroit or it suburbs.


Not even Chrysler HQ are located in Detroit --- but rather in the far-flung suburb of Auburn Hills on the very edge of the Detroit Metro Area, a good 33 miles from whatever ills Detroit has to offer. Maybe it's easier to maintain a sentimental view of Motor City if you never go downtown. At least GM maintains its HQ downtown on the Detroit River, with Ford in nearby Dearborn.

So please tell me, what about Chrysler is "Imported from Detroit"? Not the design. Not the corporate management. Not even the majority of its manufacturing.

I would have to disagree with Bob's comments.
I have never lived in Detroit, but I still want Detroit to rebound and become a great American city again. And, while Detroit has really fallen on hard times over the past 20-30 years, the ad, and many of these posters are right. It is not dead, it is not dying, and it has taken steps back to a return to glory. Whether someone wants to admit it or not, Detroit is a symbol of the United States. America needs to make things, and Detroit is the center, both metaphorically and literally, of the direction of America.
Also, it is a straight-up lie to call the ad "disengenuous". From a factual point of view, of Chrysler's 24 factories, 15 are in what I would consider the Detroit area. Windsor is right across the river, and Dundee and Toledo are less than an hour away and very closely tied to Detroit. And its just silly to complain that they are located in a suburb of Detroit; that has no bearing on the company. It is a part of Detroit. And like another poster said, this ad represents the heartland of America and all of the Rust Belt.
I thought the ad was brilliant, a wonderful defense of not only Detroit, but all of America and what America is, was, and can become.

I did not watch this commercial during the super bowl, but I could not stop watching it, everytime it is played on the TV. It gives me hope -and chills-. As someone who move here from another country...this ad, is about hope and to keep fighting. Beautifully executed, the imaginery is flawless, I fell connected from the openning. AMAZING and Well done!

I still get the shivers from this ad. I grew up in Detroit during the really bad years and now I live in the "Emerald City." Everytime I go back I weep, remembering how beautiful it was and could be again. CUDOS to Chrysler for trying to illustrate what it was and can be again with just a bit of help, inspiration and vision.

« | 1 2


Recommended on Facebook

In Case You Missed It...


Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: