As I mentioned the other day, one of the most impressive Super Bowl ads was the two-minute Chrysler 200 ad "Imported From Detroit". It didn't pull punches and it didn't apologize for being from Detroit. If anything, it suggested that being forged in Detroit is a positive, not a negative.
The more I think about it, the more I like this ad. Except for five years in White Plains NY outside New York City and three years of high school in Greensboro NC, I've spent my whole life along the Great Lakes. And at this point, over half my life has been spent in Michigan. Up and down economies, progress and Rust Belt. And a lot of people, including a lot of movers and shakers from the East and Left Coasts, are ready to write off Detroit and Michigan. Hell, Newsweek declared Grand Rapids to be a dying city -- Number 10 on their list of ten. This was a shock to West Michigan, which has sort of basked in the knowledge that things are much brighter over here than in Detroit. GR Mayor Heartwell responded with a letter to Newsweek saying that they didn't know what they were talking about.
And the Chrysler 200 ad did about the same thing.
How Does One Roll With The Punches?
Monday night FOX-TV premiered their next big new cop show, The Chicago Code. The hook is that it is about a war between a bright new police superintendent and a corrupt alderman. What? A Chicago show about crime, murder, corruption and rigged city bids? I'm shocked, shocked I tell you. I'm sure Chicagoans might feel the same way that Detroiters do about Detroit 1-8-7. On the one hand, the latter surely reinforces stereotypes about Detroit as the Murder Capital and a decaying city. On the other hand, there's Hamtramck! And you can see the love some of the characters have for the old city. After all, New York has survived all the countless murders of several incarnations of Law & Order plus CSI: New York, Philadelphia has survived Cold Case and, perhaps even more germane, Baltimore survived the stellar Homicide: Life on the Streets.
In other words, a little publicity is good, especially if they spell your name right.
And in that spirit, Chrysler certainly poked America on Sunday and said, "Detroit. Deal with it."