Chrysler's Superbowl commercial 'Imported From Detroit' featuring Eminem is much talked about. Rightly so. It's also as much about branding Detroit as it is about the new Chrysler 200. What makes the commercial powerful and spinechilling is the use of archetypes. It's the story of the Hero standing up after countless blows and persevering, despite a sea of troubles.
Some compare the Imported from Detroit commercial to Batman - the black avenger driving in to save Gotham City. Others say it reminds them of Rocky. All acknowledge its power. A voice over recounts the many blows that Detroit has had to suffer and the pride the city has in its mastery of carmaking. Then, Eminem drives the new Chrysler into the city centre and ends up with a gospel choir in a theatre, expressing pride, faith and hope for the future.
Observe the use of the colour red (the Hero colour) in the commercial, which is originally called Born of Fire. Listen tot the staccato beats (Hero music). The commercial also uses the 4 levels of the Hero story.
The Call: a challenge beckons. Detroit needs you to help defend the city.
Level One: the development of competence and mastery, expressed through achievement. The voice over claims the mastery of Detroit in making great cars.
Level Two: doing your duty for your community. Eminem drives into the city, ready to fight for it.
Level Three: using your strength and courage for something that makes a difference to the world. Eminem joins powers with hope and faith, expressed in the gospel choir. He points his finger at you: "This is the motor city. And this is what we do." Make no mistake, we know what we stand for and will fight for it.
The Chrysler commercial makes use of the Hero archetype, powerfully and consciously. The Hero and also the Explorer archetypes have been used for cars for a long time, but Chrysler makes a difference in addressing all 4 levels. If they want to go on making this difference, Chrysler should stick to the archetype - which they appear to do, judging from their Imported from Detroit merchandise. If you want to order an Imported from Detroit T-shirt, the site says: Can you prove it? Do you have the guts to wear it? Very powerfukl stuff indeed