Home > Uncategorized > Imported from Detroit = Genius

Imported from Detroit = Genius

Genius.  That is what I thought when i first saw this ad during the superbowl.

Imported from Detroit

Imported from Detroit

That was, after i sat back down and stopped clapping.  I was even wearing my Detroit Lions jersey that day too.

Now, to be fair and open about it, I’m totally biased.  I was born in Detroit.  I recognized most of the landmarks they show in the commercial.   So personally it pulled on my heartstrings to see all of those different spots in the commercial.

As for the layout of the whole thing it starts with a gritty voice, a grammaticality incorrect statement of  “I got a question for ya” and proceeds to conjur up images of hell and fire and a city that survives the forge like a tempered piece of glowing metal.  Message number one:  we survived.

Then it addresses the image the city has thanks to the media.  Even making a statement about how much bad press the city gets from writers “who’ve never even been here”.   Message number two: you aren’t here, you don’t know.

Then the narrator compares Detroit to other cities like New York, Las Vegas, or even the emerald city from the wizard of oz.   Saying Detroit is an American city, “we’re from America” connects to the sense of patriotism that everyone has in their minds.  There are 4 different shots in the commercial where you can see american flags waving.  It also hits the minds of those who always say that they will only buy an american car.  Message number three: we are up there with any other city in the country.

Then, and only then after standing up boldly for the city of Detroit does the commercial shift for it’s second half toward the car a little.  Incorporating more of the cities proud landmarks like the fox theater.  Then add in the gospel choir to represent the soul and culture the city has, as well as Eminem to show someone who has succeeded coming from a rough part of the city.  He also bridges a connection between the old generation spoken of at the beginning of the commercial and the upcoming younger generation that want to see the city prosper.   If you have a heart for Detroit, or the American Auto Industry, or even for the midwest in general I have to imagine that you walk away from that two minute mini-documentary of an ad with a sense that Detroit will definitely stand tall once again.

What do you think?

  1. Josh Smith
    February 8, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    A very well-done commercial, and a good push for the image of Detroit, but I wonder how effective this is outside of Michigan. We all have sentimental attractions to its story to some degree, and the commercial is selling the story of the city as much as it is selling the car. Is the statement that the source of luxury matters as much as the product necessarily true, or is that an immediately ear-catching phrase within the modern world of advertising? I can see people outside the Rustbelt labeling this as another attempt of old industries to repackage old material, without actually caring about the story of Detroit in relation to the car. What does the commercial actually do for the car? And Eminem as representative of luxury could be viewed as a conflicting symbol, more known for his gritty past and lyrics than for his success or high lifestyle. He is definitely an excellent example of Detroit pulling itself up through its native talents, but again, I don’t know if this will sell the car.

    The commercial was beautiful and obviously designed to be a statement of the resurgent power of the city and the auto industry at its core. It is a daring take on advertising, not in pushing an image rather than a product but in pushing the image of Detroit for the product, and I hope it does well in the wider world.

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  1. February 8, 2011 at 3:29 PM

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