Chrysler Super Controversy

by Henry Payne

Chrysler’s swaggering Super Bowl ad has touched off a firestorm of criticism. Bailout City residents have rushed to its defense even as Creditor Nation pundits have knocked the ad as ungrateful.

The ad’s implicit theme “Don’t diss us” ” is driven home by “Don’t diss me” hometown rapper, Eminem. And as the camera panned a dark downtown landscape of the fist sculpture and old buildings, it echoed Detroit’s long-time attitude towards its suburbs and the rest of the state: “Send us money and shut up.”

The rest of the country, which is still owed billions on Chrysler (and GM) loans, likely heard that lack of gratitude too. The ad came in 44th out 63 Super ads according to USA Today’s ad meter. Significantly, it came in well behind Chevy’s upbeat, can-do, volcano-plugging Silverado ad.

The Eminem spot flogging its new Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan was certainly well written.

“It’s the hottest fires that make the hottest steel. That hard work and conviction runs generations deep in every last one of us,” the narrator growls. “That’s our story. Though it’s probably not the one you’ve been reading in the papers. By folks who have never been here. Who don’t know what we’re capable of.”

Actually, folks who haven’t been here do know. They know they had to bail out Detroit after a generation convinced of its own entitlement abandoned hard work for jobs banks.

Rappers may buy the 200 after this ad. Other customers? We’ll see.

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