Chrysler’s new “Imported from Detroit” positioning may not be directly responsible for helping the automaker move cars off the lot, but it's certainly creating some memorable audio branding.
Through July, Chrysler has sold nearly 40,000 of the new 200 model sedan that was featured in the epochal Eminem Super Bowl commercial, in a segment where it sold only 24,000 cars the year before. Yet the latest version of the larger 300 sedan, fresh as of March, only moved 6% more units in July than the old version did a year ago, and Chrysler relies on the same basic positioning for its 300 advertising campaign.
Yet there’s no doubt that the Chrysler brand has benefited from its willingness to embrace Motown again as a place of authenticity where you really can build fine automobiles.
“Imported from Detroit” has re-attached an all-American identity to the company once again, even though it’s now fully owned by Fiat, based in Italy. And what Chrysler calls the “Born of Fire” ad and proposition has imbued the brand and, by extension, its products with a gritty, in-your-face quality that many consumers – particularly, younger ones – tend to admire.
So Chrysler is trying to find every possible way to build on the connection. The latest is that Chrysler has partnered to release a gospel version of Lose Yourself, the song that was performed in the TV ad that ran during the Super Bowl by “Selected of God.” The same choir performs the song on the recording. Chrysler and its partner will donate all publishing proceeds from downloading of the song to three local Detroit charities. Chrysler also produced a music video, above, that was filmed throughout Detroit.
“The Chrysler brand is firm in its commitment to the City of Detroit,” stated Olivier Francois, until recently Chrysler’s CMO and now head of the Fiat brand. “This new rendition of Lose Yourself is very moving; it is meant to inspire the listener from within; and it perfectly captures the emotion felt in the ‘Born of Fire’ commercial.”
Interestingly, Francois is a trained musician who made some composing suggestions for the music in the Super Bowl commercial. No word on whether he co-penned the new single, which is now available for download on iTunes.
In a related initiative, Chrysler launched the Imported From Detroit Project, a social hub (tagline: "Never give up, always give back") with a Facebook and Twitter presence to promote community projects in Detroit.
The project's description:
This is the next step, The Imported from Detroit Project. Never Give Up, Always Give Back. It’s a movement that was launched with a two minute punch to the head; a knockout delivered by a brand and an artist that have come to stand for getting back up when they're knocked down. It’s a bare-knuckled jab that could only come from a city like this one; seasoned, calloused and as resilient as the American spirit itself. On that day, the world heard an unbridled optimism that not only resonated through every note the Selected of God choir sang—it resonated with people all over the world. This is the evolution of that movement. It's a celebration of victories, both big and small. It’s a recognition of a spirit that you can’t help but recognize.
Adweek also notes that the "release of the new gospel track comes as Eight Mile Style announced a settlement with Audi AG over the publisher’s allegations that a new European commercial makes unauthorized use of Eminem’s Lose Yourself in a spot for the 2012 Audi A6 Avant. As part of that agreement, Audi said it will make contributions to 'selected social projects' in Detroit."