His two-minute-long car commercial feels like a mini-movie on Detroit's resilience, but it works. Chrysler 200 is the hottest new search on Google.
Mock it if you like, and it's easy to: for being two minutes long, for being yet another woe-the-Motor-City appeal from Detroit. But Eminem's Chrysler Super Bowl commercial worked.
"Chrysler 200" was the top trending Google search this morning. Not bad for the new name of what used to be the Sebring, a car the Detroit Free Press called "arguably the most maligned vehicle to ever come out of Auburn Hills."
The ad works because it sells Detroit pride as much as it sells the revamped 200. A baritone announcer apparently speaks for all Detroit intoning, "What does this city know about luxury. Huh? What does a town that's been to hell and back know about the finer things in life?" The answer is more poetic than we're accustomed to in car ads: "We'll tell you... it's the hottest fires that make the hardest steel." It's all set over dramatic cinematography, with shots of famous art from around the city celebrating manufacturing including the pro-union Diego Rivera mural, a centerpiece of the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Eventually, Eminem rolls up to the ornate Fox Theater where the marquis reads "Keep Detroit Beautiful." And the hometown rapper's one line is, "This is the Motor City, and this is what we do." It's all set over the thumping lead to his Oscar-winning "Lose Yourself." The ending graphic reads "Imported from Detroit."
At a rate of $3 million for 30 seconds of ad time, this mini-movie was a bold buy from Chrysler. Right now though, it looks like touting the city, and a hometown hero with internet-click-worthy charisma, is paying off.
Updated: Fixed spelling of Sebring, adding full quotes. Thanks for the comments.