Mar 28, 2011

“This is the Motor City and This is What We Do”

Unlike the rest of America, I’m not a big football fan so come Super Bowl Sunday I’m usually not glued to the television screen, rooting for one side or the other.  Like many of us though, I have fun watching the commercials and living in the age of YouTube and internet marketing means I don’t have to always watch the Super Bowl to see them.   Honestly, I came to the Super Bowl commercial party a bit late this year and am finally catching up on ones like the attacking pug and Darth Vader kid.  Great stuff as usual. J

If you’ve read my profile you know I’m a Detroiter by origin and still am at heart.  The Motor City’s had more than its share of misfortunes in the past few decades and with the recent drop in population numbers from the 2010 Census, faces the daunting challenge of rebuilding itself into a leaner 21st century metropolis.  If there’s one thing we as Americans like though it’s an underdog.  We love comeback stories and believe in second chances.

The reason I’m writing this is because I finally got around to seeing this year’s Super Bowl ad for the Chrysler 200 featuring Detroit native, rapper Eminem (It’s funny how many times I used to mention I was from Detroit and people would always enthusiastically ask, “Oh, really?  Do you know Eminem?” which is like asking someone in California if they know Arnold Schwarzenegger).  The commercial features a great montage of footage from downtown Detroit including what we call the Jolly Green Giant statue, the Detroit Industry murals in the Detroit Institute of Art painted by Diego Rivera and the Fox Theater, a fixture in the local arts and drama scene.  Check out the commercial here on YouTube.

I thought this ad was great because it was vintage Detroit and not only a promotional piece for the Chrysler 200, but the American auto industry and the Motor City itself.  Both have been beat up a lot in the past (some of it deserved and some of it not) and this commercial was able to step through all that and show the city as being capable of more than just the sum of its parts.  If you’re curious about my preference for the Chrysler 200 I’d have to pass on it because I’m a GM guy and prefer Buick or Cadillac J  (My father is retired from GM).  Like colleges or universities, the friendly rivalry among employees and family members of the Big Three still runs deep.

Most importantly, the majority of my family and close friends still live in the Detroit area and I try to get back there as much as possible to see them.  If that’s not a reason to celebrate your hometown than what is?

Do you still live in or near your hometown or have you moved far away?  How do you feel about where you came from?