Remember how I wrote about the heartbreaking story of Detroit and the photos that accompany the urban decay that has hit parts of the southeastern Michigan hard? I mentioned that I have friends who are all about redefining the City and helping this phoenix rise from the ashes and how proud that makes me. After all, Detroit is my ancestral home – where my grandparents migrated to find work and raise their families. Without the City, I would likely not be here.
Fast forward to Sunday night and despite the fact that we don’t have a TV, we’re “watching” the game on Twitter. Our Detroit-friends begin tweeting about a Chrysler ad that makes them proud to be “from Detroit” (because even if you’re not actually from inside the City limits, it’s just how you associate life in SEMI). I quickly found the clip on YouTube and … oh. my. word. Mark and I got goosebumps and my throat became strangely tight.
Other friends on Facebook who aren’t from Detroit don’t understand it and focused on the “it’s Eminem”-aspect of the spot. I’m not a huge Eminem fan (there’s exactly ONE of his songs in my iTunes library), and I understand there’s a lot to dislike about the guy. But he is, for better or worse, a Detroit native. And he resonates with those of us who are from there and those who aren’t. What I appreciate the most is the DetroitPositivity in the ad. It’s got a very “THIS is America!”-feel to it and it really paints the City as one which is finding its way out of the ashes and make a positive difference in the landscape of our (car-buying) nation.
I’m a Ford girl – with Chrysler roots. Don’t ask me what make Elsa is, because she’s neither. But she was purchased used, so we call her neutral. My dad retired from Ford, my paternal grandfather retired from Chrysler. So our Michigan-car-roots go deep. I’ve owned Ford, Chrysler (well, Plymouth – same difference), and GM cars since I started driving and have appreciated all of them on different levels. I’m not in the market for a luxury car (mostly because it’s gonna be an automatic transmission and I love manual transmissions), but if I was, I’d give this car a look-see.
Chrysler NAILED it for me on Sunday night. The buzz is still reverberating in my ears about how proud we are to be from Detroit or to live in Detroit or work in Detroit. This ad still gives me goosebumps (my legs are covered in them this morning as I prepped the clip for embedding) and I hope it always does.
It’s not about Eminem. It’s not about Chrysler. It’s about Detroit rising from the depths of despair it’s seen and reversing the media about it – becoming a positive place to live, to raise families, and to make an economic impact on our country.
I’m pretty sure my ad-agency friends weren’t involved in this project – at least, none of them have claimed to be. But whomever Chrysler hired to make this ad simply did a remarkable job. Bra-VO. This is television worth watching.