Chrysler ad generates political chatter

CHRYSLER AD GENERATES POLITICAL CHATTER…. Like every year, some Super Bowl commercials last night proved more memorable than others. In the world of domestic politics, it seems one spot in particular stood out.

For those who missed it last night, and can’t watch clips on your computers today, the commercial was run by Chrysler, one of the companies saved in 2009 when the Obama administration rescued the American automotive industry. It shows a series of images of Detroit, and one of the new Chrysler models.

A voiceover tells viewers, “I got a question for you. What does this city know about luxury? What does a town that’s been to hell and back know about ‘the finer things in life’? Well, I’ll tell you: more than most. You see, it’s the hottest fires that make the hardest steel. Add hard work and conviction and the know-how that runs generations deep in every last one of us. That’s who we are. That’s our story.

“No, it’s probably not the one you’ve been reading in the papers. The one being written by folks who have never even been here and don’t know what we’re capable of. Because 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. Or Sin City. And we’re certainly no one’s Emerald City.”

At that point, Eminem tells viewers, “This is the Motor City — and this is what we do.”

Criticisms from the right on Twitter were immediate, followed today with plenty of angry responses from online outlets. A member of Congress, freshman Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.), also weighed in, criticizing the ad, the rescue of the industry, and even Eminem (whose music “hasn’t ever been heard” on Ross’ speakers).

In terms of the ad, it’s a subjective question, of course, but I absolutely loved it. Out of concern for the economy and American competitive, I’ve been hoping the industry will recover, and a spot like this — centered around an emotional appeal — not only helps improve the Chrysler brand, but makes the viewer root even harder for Detroit (the city, not the Lions).

What’s more, I can’ help but find the right’s incessant complaints unseemly. I’m sure they want what’s best for the country, but I’ve never seen so many take such an active role in hoping for an American industry’s failure.

Update: I’m reminded that conservatives aren’t the only ones who disapproved of the commercial. Adam Weinstein, who knows a great deal more about Chrysler than I do, blasted the ad in a piece that’s worth reading.