Chrysler Ran the Best Super Bowl Ad

DETROIT (TheStreet) -- All this discussion of Super Bowl ads ignores the basic fact that most people don't like to watch ads.

But in the case of the 2011 Super Bowl, one ad rose above the clutter to make a statement about a product, a city and a state of mind. That was the Chrysler "Born of Fire" ad.

If you haven't seen it, take a look, because it has a lot to say and has Eminem to say it. "This is the Motor City -- this is what we do," he proclaims at the end of it.

The ad says that Detroit is back, obviously a positive sign for the U.S. economy, because Detroit is the center of the country's largest manufacturing industry.

That's not just Chrysler, but Ford ( F) and GM ( GM) too. Their spirits have recovered and their stocks have recovered too, once again making millions of people rich.

Their re-emergence took place in a gritty city that almost failed. But now the grit has enough glitter that some can rub off on the image of a new luxury car, the Chrysler 200.

"What does a town that's been to hell and back know about the finer things in life?" the narrator asks, before responding: "More than most. You see, it's the hottest fire that makes the hardest steel ...When it comes to luxury, it's as much about where it's from as who it's for."

The ad also makes the point that even thought it has a European owner, Chrysler wants to be recognized as one of the Detroit Three. In the U.S. auto industry today, the Big Three includes Toyota ( TM). But to the extent that Detroit is king, Chrysler is one of its three kings.

"If you thought Chrysler's Fiat managers would go all gelato and Pellegrino water on us, think again," said Automotive News Monday, reviewing the ad. "This could be one of those moments when a brand starts to define itself."

In that regard, the slogan "Imported from Detroit" introduced in this advertisement uses irony to underscore the point that a European owner wants to embrace a unique American culture.

Can we reasonably say that something is "imported from Detroit?" The truth is that some big American cities -- Miami, which has its own foreign policy, comes to mind -- have cultures so unique that they are like foreign countries.

In the case of Detroit, the culture has been through the washer and came out clean -- gritty, but clean.

That is the message this fabulous advertisement has to share with us.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

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