It’s Halftime America! Imported from the D

Being in Michigan Chrysler’s last two Superbowl Ads have been big news in our part of the world (check out last year’s ad with Eminem- here).  In case you didn’t see the most recent one, starring Clint Eastwood – here it is:

Super cool right! Make you feel good about America.  If you’re from Michigan and/or Detroit – makes you feel good about that fact – which believe me isn’t an easy task, recently!   It is branding at it’s best.  No one actually likes Chrysler – well not if you’re from Michigan.  Chrysler is like the Big 3’s ugly redheaded step brother.  Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, etc. would be considered a better car buying option by most.  It’s arguable that Chrysler wouldn’t be in the top 7 car buying choices of the majority of Americans. Yet, with branding like this, they probably will be fairly soon!

The concept is almost perfect – classic American actor from a time gone by,  focus on a growing economy and jobs, America’s best known industry – Automotive, and an American city rising from the ashes – heck you don’t even know it’s a Chrysler commercial until the last 10 seconds!   It’s marketing the way it should be.  It’s not thrown in your face – look at our cars, looks at our cars, look at our cars…it connects with an emotion inside of you, a willingness to want to be a part of something bigger, pride in country, pride to be the best – then BAM – Chrysler.  The last connection – the hook – you’re going to go out and buy a Chrysler.  Don’t say you won’t – they already have your subconscious wired to buy.  There isn’t anything you can do at this point, you’re just an unwilling participant in something much bigger than yourself.

Does your employment brand invoke this type of emotion?  Probably not – let’s face it – this isn’t easy to do.  Millions of dollars were spent to get Chrysler to come up with this concept.  You don’t have millions – you have hundreds.  So, how can you get here?  Do the same thing using your own people.  Every company has those leaders and employees who have bought in – they wear the company logo jacket, have the company tattoo and are willing to get into an argument with a fellow employee is dares to bad mouth the company.  These are your brand messengers, these are your Clint Eastwoods.  Let them sell your company.  Get your iPhone – shoot a video – put it up on your employment page of your website (just ask the 22 year old kid in IT, he’ll know how to do it).

It’s hard for HR folks because we always want to control the message. We want to clean it up and make it perfect.  Stop that. It’s alright if it’s a bit dirty, a bit unpolished.  It’s alright that the person might use some language or words you wouldn’t use – this is you – your company – your brand.  Embrace it and others will to.

I’m proud to be from Michigan, and I’m proud of The D (Detroit for all you non-Michiganders) – thanks Chrysler for helping remind us of this.  I probably won’t buy your cars, but many will and you did good regardless.

One thought on “It’s Halftime America! Imported from the D

  1. Great commercial, lousy cars. I’ll keep my Hyundai thanks. Sorry but my last Chrysler was a dodge minivan that fell apart prematurely and they didn’t stand behind it even a little. As someone who worships at the altar of good customer service (companies like LL Bean earn my $$$ over and over again with their willingness to stand behind what they sell) Chrysler burnt that bridge with us and I don’t care how good their commercials may be, they will not get any more of my money, too many other better options in the market.

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