While Groupon.com's Save the Money Super Bowl ads sparked controversy, the two-minute long Imported from Detroit Super Bowl ad for Chrysler that stars rapper Eminem seems to have done exactly what commercials are supposed to do — generate a lot of attention, most of it good.
As our friend Micki Maynard at the Changing Gears public radio project says, the spot has gotten "super buzz." She says that "it has all the gloss and dark sophistication of a major motion picture. And it clearly counteracted the 'ruin porn' for which Detroit is better known — those images of deteriorating, once-elegant buildings that are everywhere across the city," while also showing off the Chrysler 200.
And The Wall Street Journal's Drivers Seat blog says that "according to market researchers who tracked the impact of Super Bowl commercials, the Chrysler ad sparked a dramatic spike in online shopping for the company's models."
Not everyone's a fan, of course. At The Michigan View, editor Dan Calabrese of Grand Rapids' The North Star National writes that he hated the commercial.
"Detroit is a mess. I'm sorry. It is," Calabrese says. "I love the city, and I love many things about it, but overall Detroit is big, heaping, steaming pile of problems. ... If Chrysler wants to make the case for the quality of its cars, that's fine. But it should save the attitude, keep its head down and focus on the mountain of work it still has to do before it can claim to be a respectable company once again. And that goes for Detroit too."
But the market — judging from the attention and the 3.7 million (and counting) YouTube views of the ad — seems to have spoken.
In case you haven't seen it, or just want to watch again, here's the ad: