“Imported From Detroit”

By: Evan Frohock

With around 111 million people viewing the Super Bowl annually, it is one of televisions most watched events of the year. Many companies and businesses will pay outrageous amounts of money annually for their brand to be shown on commercials in-between the big game. Chrysler spent 12.4 million dollars on their “Imported from Detroit” commercial that debuted during the 2011 Super Bowl, played between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburg Steelers. At two minuets in length, this commercial is one of the Super Bowl’s longest ads of all time. The “Imported from Detroit” commercial by Chrysler is more than a commercial about the automobile.

This ad really shows that Chrysler is still around, even 18 months after they went bankrupt. Detroit’s economy grew 2.3 % in 2011, when the ad was released. One thing they wanted to depict to the public in this two minute Super Bowl commercial was Detroit’s economy, and how it is raising. The narrator of this ad describes that, “It’s the hottest fires that make the hardest steel. Add hard work and conviction. And a know how that runs generations deep in every last one of us. That’s who we are. That’s our story. Now 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.” As the narrator is saying this pictures of the Detroit are appearing on the screen. The commercial shows a strong arm with a clenched fist hanging from a beam. It also shows a mural of people working hard and depicts workers from generations ago.

As these powerful images of Detroit are on the screen, there are glimpses of the new Chrysler 200. This is the first time we see the car all-commercial. Eminem’s most famous song, “Lose yourself” starts to play in the background. The narrator continues, “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.” Eminem points to the camera and states, “this is the motor city. And this is what we do”. One last shot of the car is shown, with the words “keep Detroit beautiful” in the background.

At the end of the ad everything fades out but Eminem’s famous”Lose Yourself” riff. The only thing left on the screen is the words that individually come up “Imported From Detroit”. This sends a strong message out to the American people. This message is implying that this car had the equality of a car that is manufactured overseas, and imported to America. Many people would argue cars that are made outside of the USA are better – quality and price. This is not the message Chrysler was trying to send. This leaves the audience with the lingering message of “buy American”, or “Help America” rather than “Buy Chrysler”. This ad is very powerful.

This commercial is aimed towards the American people as a whole. Eminem’s famous Grammy winning song “Lose Yourself” built up suspense, as the commercial reached a climax before he stated that Detroit was the motor city. Eminem plays a huge role in this commercial. He was the perfect person to be in the suspenseful commercial. Eminem is very outspoken about his home city, Detroit. He has many songs about Detroit, and even came out with a movie “8-Mile” that takes place in Detroit. If anyone has any interest in Eminem they know he grew up in Detroit, and they know that is where his heart is, and will always be. Chrysler’s “Imported From Detroit” commercial is more than a commercial about buying a Chrysler. It is a commercial about buying American, helping America, and changing the American people’s view of Detroit – the motor city.


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