At first it was highly acclaimed and appreciated, and then came the critiques and attacks, such as considering the ad a political commercial which provides support to President Obama’s re-election campaign. Chrysler Group LLC’s U.S. dealers didn’t keep their hands in pockets and swung into action defending the company’s commercial.
“We have no doubt that this ad had no political agenda of any kind but rather [was] a statement of fact and hope for the future for all of us and America,” the company’s National Dealer Council said following an emergency meeting.
The 2-minute ad entitled “Halftime in America” featuring Clint Eastwood, was aired at the Super Bowl on Sunday, and sparked an immediate debate, which boosted YouTube viewership to 5 million people.
“It was designed to deliver emotions and I don’t think emotions have a party. There was zero political message. It was meant more of a rally cry to get together and what makes us strong is our collective power and not our individual disagreements. The politicians can see political messages wherever they want, but we are not politicians,” declared Oliver Francois, Chrysler’s chief marketing officer and architect of the ad.
People are thinking if the ad’s purpose was the company’s intent to sell cars or to help President Obama in his campaign, taking into consideration the fact that he provided bailout funding for both Chrysler and GM, in 2009. Some branding experts think that the political uproar won’t affect Chrysler since, “Most people are fed up with that stuff.”