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Halftime in America: Chrysler Commercial Essay

The Chrysler commercial during the 2012 Super Bowl was extremely well done. It stars Clint Eastwood delivering a muscularly optimistic message about Detroit and its auto industry. Clint talks about America and how it has been hurting due to the poor economy and the unemployment rate. He does this through an interesting allegory of football and halftime. Chrysler does well targeting a very broad audience of American auto consumers. This particular commercial uses a fear tactic through a lowly lit background and the unmistakable growl of Clint Eastwood to reach the target audience.

Chrysler attempts to tug at the proverbial heart strings or emotions of the auto consumer by playing on the fears of people and their lack of faith in the American economy. Americans want to believe that America is great and will pick itself up from the dire straits it is in. This commercial does a good job at trying to light that patriotic fire. This commercial was definitely well thought out. At a cost of $3. 5 million per 30 second time slot (halftime in America was 2:00 minutes long) Chrysler spared no expense.

The 2012 Super bowl had 111 million viewers, a calculated move no doubt (“Super Bowl Ads Cost Average Of $3. 5m”, 2012). Detroit has been a long standing icon of American ingenuity and manufacturing; Clint Eastwood is an American acting icon; so it is no surprise that Chrysler put the two together to make a commercial. Chrysler, being rooted in America is reaching for brand recognition though perceived “Americanism”. It is an effectively persuasive tactic, though tasteless in my opinion.

I say this for the simple fact that auto industry is no longer bound by borders; it is a global industry where many “American” autos are made with parts manufactured overseas. “For the third straight year, Toyota Camry, a product of Japan’s largest automaker, is the “most American car,” as determined by Cars. com’s formula. Honda Accord, the flagship of Japan’s second largest automaker, is second. ” (“Report: The Two ‘Most American’ Cars Are Japanese”, 2011).

I elieve that although the commercial was well thought out and constructed, Chrysler is rather tasteless in its tactics and disguises the tastelessness very well. In general, Americans are a proud and patriotic people; playing on this is a clever way to sell cars. Using American icons to sell cars is clever. In short, Chrysler gets an A+ for resourcefulness and creativity, but gets an overall failing grade for the hanky-panky thrown in the consumers face to disguise their real motives.

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