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Ed Driscoll

‘Unlike European Cities, No Bombs Fell on this American City’

February 9th, 2011 - 12:15 pm

Gee, somewhere between abandoning all hope and trying to present a dystopian wasteland as some sort of glittering Michael Mann-style Michigan Vice Big City at Night, within which you half-expect an Armani-suited Sonny Crockett to zoom by in his Ferrari, there has to be a happy medium. Say what you will about GM’s ads, but they don’t remind you of the horrid environment that their cars are produced in and use it as selling point.

My post on the topic on Monday was an extension of my immediate take upon watching the ad during the Super Bowl and being rather surprised at both its dissipated theme and its “edgy” pitchman. But the reaction was somewhat divided in its comments, with perhaps a third of the readers defending the ad.

Incidentally, contrast the initial emotions the Chrysler ad generates with the commercial that was the hit of the Super Bowl. The Volkswagen ad leaves you with happy Gen-X images of family, childhood and Star Wars. Watching those ads, I’m not immediately pondering the unemployment rate in Wolfsburg, or whether VW’s pension plans are underfunded, or if unionization is dragging the company’s revenues downward.

The Chrysler ad has consumers going at each other hammer and tongs in blog comments and on Twitter over how badly the images of a bombed-out Detroit hurt the reputation of the commercial’s underlying product. And speaking of going at it, on his Website’s homepage, Mark quotes some of the Motor City’s more …enthusiastic… defenders.

I wonder if this is the sort of buzz Chrysler wants associated with their product:

Michiganders stand tall against Steyn’s outrageous assault on Detroit
~see also The Detroit News: “Beckmann blasts elitist!“; and The Wall Street Journal: “Eminem fires up Steyn” – and more from the Inside LineDaniel Howes, and Small Dead Animals
~On Monday’s Rush Limbaugh Show, Mark pointed out that 44 per cent of adults in Detroit have a reading comprehension below Grade Six level. In response, Detroiters say “F**k you, Mark Steyn” (South-Eastern Michigan Sports), “Mark Steyn is a Faggot” (Brandon A Jiles), and “Has anyone fed Mark Steyn a dick?” (Rufio Jones)
~Don’t forget, in a few weeks’ time Mark will be live in Michigan – though probably not for long.

Kathy Shaidle’s take on Mark’s more enthusiastic detractors is characteristically succinct.

Update: Welcome Steyn Online, Power Line, Insta-readers. For proof that Chrysler can produce an ad that reminds viewers of more positive connotations of the 20th century than the Welfare State in maximum overdrive, check out the other commercial they made in time for the Super Bowl. Note how swanky the visuals are, and how they’re geared towards such style icons (real and imagined) as Don Draper, Grace Kelly, Sinatra and JFK, rather than Eminem:

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Of course, this ad’s slogan is neatly answered by the Super Bowl ad. Whatever happened to style? It got mugged on a side street by a wannabe Detroit rapper in a sweatshirt and hoodie.

Update (2/10/11): More more here: “Detroit Mock City: Mark Steyn vs Motown.”

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