Wednesday, February 9, 2011


How awesome was Sunday’s game? I looked forward to the Super Bowl for the full two weeks after the conference championships, but I did not expect a great game. It usually isn’t. That it was was a bonus.

The greatness I did expect was from the advertisers. I worked for an ad agency when I was in college and thought about making a career out of it (but was dissuaded by the volatility and high burnout rate*), and I still enjoy effective, creative advertising. My pick for best ad of the game? Imported from Detroit by Chrysler.

*So I went to work in the tech industry instead. Go figure. I think about going back to advertising every time I watch an episode of Mad Men**. 

**Whether you’re a fan of Mad Men or not, you are probably a fan of sex. If you are, you should give this article from Mad Men star Christina Hendricks a read. In fact, if you are a man, commit her advice to memory.

Perhaps this is a sentimental decision since I spent two years of grad school living just outside of Detroit and the two preceding years living well within its rustbelt influence. While in grad school, I even did a consulting project for Chrysler*. 

*Where I was forced to park my Japanese-made car in a distant, “competitive cars” parking lot and came away wondering whether anything could save such a screwed up company. What I did know was that it was going to take way more than whatever little bit six MBA students could contribute.

Living in Michigan, I saw first hand just how bad things are in Detroit. Things were so bad, in fact, that at the time, people actually thought Kwame Kilpatrick could improve them. And it’s only got worse since then. This is a city that needs a break. It relies on an industry that needs a break. But the only way they’re going to get a break is if they earn it. Which is why I love this ad: it tells a great story, and the story is, they’re up to the task.

So are they up to it? Time will tell. But it was enough to make me think about buying a type of car I’ve never considered from a manufacturer I’d never have previously considered. I can’t help but think some consumers will be convinced enough to actually buy one. I hope for the sake of the city that they are enough.


  1. I enjoyed the Super Bowl, pretty good game this year.

    My wife and I will discuss the Christina Hendricks article tonight, good points there.

    I agree the idea for the ad is good, but I thought it went over the top into schmaltz territory.

  2. KK, absolutely DO NOT mention that article to your wife. Just slowly begin to incorporate it's admonishments into your daily interactions.

    Also, the smell thing... clearly Christina has never dated a mountain biker. Or dawn patroller. Or dirtbag.

  3. Adam: regarding the smell, I am all the things you mention. I asked my wife this morning if she likes the way I smell. She said she does. She may have been lying.

  4. Hmm. I'm afraid to ask my wife.

  5. Great commercial, fantastic music. A little over the top, but it certainly moved me. I think we will see a strong resurgence of the American auto industry. Based on the commercials from Toyota, BMW, and others, touting their made in America credentials, it is clear that the "foreign" brands think so as well.

  6. JZ: you bring up an interesting point--what does made in America mean anymore? The Chrysler 300 is made in Canada, while the BMW Z3 is designed and built in the USA, and the Toyota Tundra is the most "American made" truck you can buy.

    I know what it means in Michigan: made in a UAW plant. The key mark my Subaru (that was assembled in Indiana) received in a Detroit parking lot within weeks of purchasing it brought that point home.

  7. Chrysler, huh....? Reeeeaaaaallly. Does the name "Franson" ring a bell? Also, I read this earlier and am a little disappointed that you swapped pictures of whats-er-name's whats-its. Or is it wha-tits?

    I prolly shouldn't have said that. Oh well.

  8. Rabid: you'll have to clue me in on Franson, because it doesn't ring a bell. Also, I am not responsible for the wha-tits picture being changed. Let's just say that someone who may or may not appreciate my smell knows my password.

  9. So Franson was a big financial cheese at Chrysler, also happens to be my cousin. He retired WAY early when Daimler purchased that Chrysler enterprise, then he moved from Detroit to Deer Valley (next to John Huntsman Sr.) His (cousin's) mom (my aunt and dad's sister) was a little concerned that he was moving in with all of the "undesireables."

    I like that wife of yours more and more each day...

  10. She was better in Firefly. Oh, there i did it, yes, I am a geek, but you knew that.

    Please go out and buy a Ford from your local Ford store, and tell them you did so because they sponsor


  11. Damn. I´m wearing those shorts right now...

  12. Chrysler isn't even an American company any more if I recall correctly. They may have been bought Fiat owned I think?