You’ll probably recognize this commercial from the 2011 Super Bowl. It is Chrysler’s “Born On Fire” ad, you know, the one where Eminem doesn’t smile. I won’t get too deep into the merits of it as a commercial, but there is a good advertising lesson in it.
At it’s roots, this ad is a quintessential North American car maker commercial: it’s patriotic. American car makers have been appealing to our sense of patriotism and love for the mother land since, well, forever. Yet while Chrysler used this same tactic, they twisted and turned the method to work for their brand. Instead of the red, white, and blue fanfare of other car commercials, Chrysler pulled at its roots. “Imported from Detroit” is dirty and bruised; it draws out an emotion in all of us. You get that feel of an underdog story, you hear that redemption song, and as Americans, we love nothing more than the little guy stickin’ it to the man (I mean, they did make 6 Rocky films). With the hell and back story of Detroit, Chrysler nailed this commercial and gave goosebumps to the down-but-not-out fighter in all of us.
Chrysler shows us there is nothing wrong with using tried and true ideas. Finding a fresh angle or voice for that accepted idea can be huge for making your brand stand out. So what are you waiting for? Take those tactics in your tool belt and make ’em new and exciting. Go on… add a bit of flair.