Clint Eastwood, Chrysler and Controversy

“People are out of work and they’re hurting. And they’re all wondering what they’re going to do to make a comeback. And we’re all scared, because this isn’t a game.

The people of Detroit know a little something about this. They almost lost everything. But we all pulled together, now Motor City is fighting again.

Powerful stuff from Chrysler in their new ad that debuted on Sunday night. Not only does the commercial have a well-written, inspirational script, but coupled with the Clint Eastwood’s iconic, sandpaper voice, it’s got all the ingredients of a memorable spot.

Well, the ad stirred up some emotion all right, both positive and negative. While some Americans have rallied behind the inspirational message, others have called out Chrysler for the ad’s perceived, out of place political message. Having spoken out against the auto bailouts just this past November, even Eastwood has caught some flack – being painted as a hypocrite by some critics.

“It has zero political content,” said Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Machionne. “The message is sufficiently universally and neutral that it should be appealing to everybody in this country, and I sincerely hope that it doesn’t get utilized as political fodder in a debate.”

Did Chrysler anticipate this type of split reaction from the public? Was this the spot’s intended response? Like it or loathe it, Halftime in America has succeeded in keeping Chrysler in the headlines all week. Both Forbes and USA Today have the ad ranked in their Top 5 ads from Sunday.

What do you think of the ad? Is it worthy of its place among the top Super Bowl spots?

by Daniel Sweeney | posted | in Advertising & Marketing
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