330 South Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21231
p 410 244 7221 f 410 244 7225
Super Bowl ads are meant to be talked about. But is that enough?
Clint Eastwood caused quite a stir when he showed up in a Super Bowl commercial this past February touting halftime in America. And with good reason. The agency behind the ad, Wieden + Kennedy, did a hell of a job. It’s an expertly crafted piece of work. Well-written, atmospheric, memorable, and imbued with a powerful message. Just the kind of thing that gets people talking.
That said, quick show of hands: who remembers exactly what the ad was for?
As an ad for Eastwood, or American resilience, or even for America itself, it’s great. As an ad for Chrysler, however...not as much. Most of the attention it generated focused on politics (or lack thereof). In marketing circles, the ad was criticized for not doing enough to sell cars. And, well, that’s a fair point.
Over the past month W+K and Chrysler have been running Act Two of their campaign and the results are stunning. From Adweek:
Chrysler is rolling out four new TV commercials from Wieden + Kennedy this weekend that extend the theme—introduced with the "It's Halftime in America" spot on the Super Bowl—of battling adversity in bleak economic times. Clint Eastwood makes way here for ordinary Americans—proud, hardworking, always getting up after being knocked down—in the hardboiled spots, breaking this weekend on major programming like the NCAA men's basketball semifinals and national championship game, NHL and Nascar competitions, the Academy of Country Music Awards and Mad Men.
Without Eastwood around to distract and with a less heavy-handed approach to storytelling, these spots have room to both breathe and resonate. They still don’t have a clear “Buy Chrysler” call-to-action but that’s not the point of this approach. The brand still comes out on top here, and that’s why they’re both effective and creatively exceptional. Check out one of the spots (“Jenny in the Jeep”) below and let us know: what do you think of Halftime 2.0?