The Super Bowl is a good day for Detroit. Or at least for automakers.
For the second consecutive year, Chrysler made viewers fall silent with a gritty, gut-level ad celebrating Detroit — and built around an icon not known for shilling for products.
Last year it was Eminem. This year the company went even bigger, with Clint Eastwood — who named a film for Ford's Gran Torino — talking about halftime in America.
The ad — which aired, of course, at halftime — echoed Ronald Reagan's Morning in America ad with its call for Americans to thrive again. Once again, it subtly equated buying Chryslers with supporting Detroit, and by extension America.
Jokes about Eastwood running for president quickly became ubiquitous on Twitter.
Whether you saw the ad as patriotic or as a cyncical manipulation of patriotism, there was no question that Eastwood's gravelly voiceover cut through the usual Super Bowl ad clutter: wacky animals, bikini-clad women, and endless, icy six-packs.
Eastwood argued that hardscrabble Detroit sets an example for the rest of America, never directly pointing to the auto industry as it tries to mount a recovery. (No mention was made of the multibillion-dollar taxpayer bailout.) The ad ended with the same tagline as the Eminem ad: "Imported From Detroit."
Chevy, meanwhile, aimed a little lower: It argued merely that its trucks could save you from the apocalypse, and that Fords can't.
Watch the ad: