Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Motor City Awakens

There is no avoiding it, this ad is just brilliant. The kind of bold thinking that is everything good about America. The reflection and spirit to create something that has the potential (and indeed deserves) to spark a city into regeneration.

Others have really praised this ad, and rightly so; but even then... The tagline 'Imported from Detroit' is genius, showing the kind of clever thinking that tells you everything about why W+K is one of, if not the best agency in the world. It doesn't try to sugar coat, it doesn't have brazen pomposity or an unachievable dream cloying up the airtime. It is, it does, it works, it inspires.

This is Chrysler's '1984'. It deserves to be looked back on in 20 years as an ad that changed the way people thought about a city, about a brand, and about how to communicate honestly and engagingly with your target audience.


Jeff Kwiatek said...


I want to agree with you, really. This ad is fantastic as a way to sell a city and to remind people that Chrysler is still here. It is beautiful and brilliant.

But it is no 1984 because at the end the product they show is no different than what came before. They show a car that is just a car. They are saying we're still here doing the same stuff that got us into this mess.

W+K did work that could have changed the way people think about Chrysler. The company mucked it up by not having anything remarkable to show.

Rob Mortimer said...

Point taken, I don't know enough about the cars to make that judgement. However, in comms terms it does for the product what 1984 did; it just may not have quite the same impact if the product isn't there.

northern said...

Sorry Jeff, I do know more about cars (Nissan, Infiniti for a start) and I don't agree.

The product is important, of course, nothing kills a bad product quicker than a great ad etc and yet, and yet....a good product isn't enough either

Specifically about cars and Honda, the Power of Dreams campaign completely changed sales performance and price premium with the same product

Nike tried Nike Air well before th Just Do It stuff...but it was the cultural significance of the campaign that sold it - same product, different advertising.

Marlboro had the same cigarettes, but it wasn't until Leo Burnett hit upon the lonely cowboy in the open country that the same product suddenly flew off the shelves

All that Clear Blue did was have real piss on a pregnancy test to shift 100% more of the same product

I argue the work does change how people think about Chrysler - a new product in incidental as long as it was any good in the first place, it's how you make people feel about.

Best possible case study is the dreaded Gorilla. 60% better ROI than anything that came before (including new product launches) and it didn't even FEATURE a product.

Good afternoon