Chrysler Group’s Super Bowl ad that featured Clint Eastwood has sparked a political debate. Chrysler explained that the ad was conceptualized two months ago and that the actor had helped in shaping this image. At the Chicago Auto Show, Olivier Francois, Chrysler's marketing chief, said that Eastwood “felt like endorsing the message because the message is clearly not sales-oriented."
He added, “It is even hardly corporation-oriented. It's about values." He explained that there are twice more viewers on YouTube for this particular ad compared to the views of last year’s Eminem ad for about the same period of time after the game.
The ad has very few Chrysler references, including just a few images of cars and trucks, as well as shots of sport-utility vehicles produced at a Detroit factory. In the closing shot, Chrysler’s brand logos could be seen. Francois said that Chrysler didn’t want to make a sequel to the Eminem ad.
Instead, it wanted to build on the 'Imported from Detroit' platform but hoped that it would be consistent with its “message of resilience, hard work, drive and humility," expanding it from Detroit to America.
Eastwood was chosen for the ad because Chrysler wanted someone who has “the authority, the credibility" to be the voice of this ad. Francois and Saad Chehab, the Chrysler brand’s head, worked on the script proposal together with ad agency Wieden & Kennedy. Meanwhile, CEO Sergio Marchionne provided his input.