Posted by Dale Buss on February 14, 2011 05:00 PM
More than a week after Chrysler’s widely praised ad starring Eminem during the Super Bowl, the automaker is beginning to see indications that nationwide enthusiasm for the spot, which has racked up almost 6.5 million views on YouTube, is trickling down to where it counts: generating sales of the Chrysler 200 model that the commercial promotes.
Even before the close of the two-minute advertisement praising a 200 that is “imported from Detroit,” it was clear that the spot had energized fans of Chrysler and the domestic auto industry across the country. But their enthusiasm only raised the most obvious and most crucial question: Will anyone else care?
The answer – emerging anecdotally and haltingly – is, maybe so.
Some dealers, for example, started ordering more 200s than they initially planned to accommodate a post-Super Bowl bump in sales. The 200, basically a reskinned Chrysler Sebring sedan, is not a from-the-ground-up new model. But it’s one of the important new, redesigned placeholders in Chrysler’s aging product lineup until the new owners at Fiat can introduce a brand new fleet of vehicles.
Dealers also say they’re ordering up merchandise and promotions tied directly to the ad. “These are all customers who buy Ram trucks,” said one Houston-area dealer, according to Automotive News. The ad “was right on with my customer base.”
Meanwhile, Chrysler also is indicating that it would like more of the same. Brand chief Olivier Francois was said to be meeting with Eminem last week about the possibility of a sequel — and that was before he won two Grammy awards on Sunday night, where he called out from the stage: "What up, Detroit! Stand up!"
Could be that Eminem ends up becoming the most famous Chrysler spokesman since that other straight shooter who also was largely made in Detroit: Lee Iacocca.