The Chrysler two-minute “Born of Fire” commercial featuring Detroit rapper Eminem generated significant pride in American workers, Detroit and America when it first aired during the super bowl among a lot of otherwise forgettable advertisements.
When I first saw it, I thought the “Imported from Detroit” message was strong and the execution superb. I also admired the guts of whoever wrote and approved what easily could have bombed. Can’t you hear most clients saying something such as: “Let me understand, you want me to bet my company praising one of our most depressed cities? No one wants a product from Detroit anymore.”
I admit that I did wonder how the message would age. Since then, the campaign continues to run and has received a few fairly harsh commentaries in addition to a majority of positive discussions.
I find the message is as satisfying today as when I first saw it.
This reaction could be as simple as having an emotionally uplifting message resonate partially because the debt-ceiling debate debacle and the significant decline in consumer confidence and stock market.
Perhaps the two lessons are to:
- Have the guts to make courageous decisions, and
- Emotions are more powerful than product specifics (although the commercials do include quality and design).
- As Dale Carnegie said: “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.”
The agency that created Imported from Detroit, Wieden+Kennedy is from Portland, Oregon. Of course, if this is ever turned into a Hollywood movie, the agency will be from Detroit.