I have commented on Chrysler's Halftime commercial back when Adweek announced it as their number one ad of the Super Bowl. I thought it was a brilliant follow up to the Eminem-Chrysler commercial featured during last year’s Super Bowl. There was the patriotic element in both, but this year Chrysler painted a picture of American perseverance. I thought the message in the commercial was loud and clear: “Buy American, support American jobs,”.
Luckily I had FOX News to show me just how wrong I was. Karl Rowe a Fox News commentator said, “It is a sign of what happens when ... the president of the United States and his political minions are, in essence, using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising and the best wishes of the management which is benefited by getting a bunch of money that they’ll never pay back,”. Clint Eastwood claims the ad and his own political views are not pro-Obama. In fact, the Huffingpost reported that Clint Eastwood is on record for opposing the Chrysler bailout.
Although I rarely take anything FOX News says seriously I went back and looked at the commercial which I have included in this post. At the 0:45 mark Clint Eastwood says “The fog, the division, the discord, the blame made it hard to see sometimes” over a group of protesting people. While I struggle to make out the signs I can read “We don’t need another…”. It’s hard to know who is protesting, Tea Partiers, Occupy Wall Street people? Certainly if it was Tea Partiers there would be some basis for these claims that this ad is pro-Obama.
However, it is most likely people protesting Chrysler getting a government bailout. “We don’t need another bailout” would make a lot of sense. Because well, it’s a Chrysler commercial isn’t it? And even if we believe Bill O’Reilly--- I mean Karl Rowe--- the government has debit they would like to pay off. So the government would like to get their bailout money back, which means Chrysler is not going to anchor their car to one political opinion over the other. I think if anything this sequence is supposed to say to the consumer, “So you didn’t support the bailout, that’s okay buy a car now”. Plus I would assume that Chrysler’s demographic is more Republic.
Karl Rowe is also forgetting one important fact: “No president has won an election when there has been this high unemployment”. Speaking from a consumer behavior perspective why on earth would the Obama camp want to remind people of their struggles when his elections coming up? Read more about this whole issue, Clint Eastwood's political opinions and the bailout on the Globe and Mail.