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Alain Giguère

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Eminem, The Chrysler 200 and the branding of cities!

Categories: Food for thought

Posted on 03-31-11 at 10:27 a.m.


Click here to view the ad on YouTube


Every year, the Super Bowl in the U.S. is as much a festival of advertising as it is a celebration of football. Advertisers and advertising agencies outdo each other in their creative efforts to show off their abilities. And the most recent of these events certainly holds its own when compared to previous years.

Although all the advertisements were entertaining and effective this year, one in particular attracted our attention because of its relevance to major trends in consumer psychology that we have been measuring over the past few years.

This ad seems to promote the city of Detroit as much as the car! While thoroughly valorising the “masstige” virtues of the new Chrysler 200, it also defends Detroit’s “DNA”. It puts forth a narrative that goes to the very heart of this city’s “brand”.

In addition, the brand is positioned in a manner that rallies some of the most important trends in consumer psychology today.

It presents a vision of the city’s founding myth, the very spirit that initiated it all, while underlining the dynamic impulse that continues to drive it and gives it resilience.

This ad marvellously exudes the trend “brand authenticity” that we measure in our Panorama (3SC) program and which is currently on the increase in Canada. This trend expresses great respect and sensitivity toward brands that have a soul, a narrative, a story to tell, all of which must be incontestably authentic.

Personal potential, the need to surpass (challenge) oneself and pride are also expressed wonderfully (all of which are trends that are currently on the rise in Canada). It unabashedly tells about the hard times that the city has been through and especially its reputation as a “devastated” city. However, it also extolls the city’s resilience, its ability to take charge and to bring out the very best in itself despite everything.

“Neo-localism”, a trend that we see progressing year after year, is expressed equally well by this ad. The narrative exudes a proud and deeply rooted local identity that nourishes the personal identities of those who connect with this story.

Furthermore, the beauty of this concept is that it can be “cloned” to any city that has its own founding myth. Based on the history of any city, the values of its citizens, as well as those who look toward it for inspiration, a narrative can be constructed in order to build the branding of these cities.

In today’s context where cities have to develop their brand in order to position themselves on an international chess board that is becoming increasingly competitive, this ad seems extraordinarily inspiring.