Super Bowl XLV: Chrysler To Run The Most Expensive Ad In History?


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Everyone knows that Super Bowl advertising doesn’t come cheap.  This year advertisers will pay in the neighborhood of $2.8 million and $3 million for a 30 second spot.  Throw in the production costs of the commercial spot–which is a lot since companies usually create high concept ads specifically for the game–and you’re talking a sizable investment just to get a Super Bowl commercial on the air.  Chrysler Motors, however, really isn’t messing around with their Super Bowl XLV advertising.  They’ll likely make history with the most expensive single commercial in Super Bowl history–a two minute spot which based on the aforementioned rates will cost them between $11.2 and $12 million.

Industry journal Advertising Age reported on Chrysler’s ambitious move earlier today.  The spot will take up an entire commercial break–in fact, the auto manufacturer had to get special permission from the NFL since the typical commercial break runs only 1 minute thirty seconds.  The thinking is that the super long commercial will help Chrysler differentiate itself from the slew of car companies that are also running commercials in this year’s Super Bowl–Audi, Kia, Chevrolet, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz are already scheduled for the broadcast.

The commercial will air during the third quarter and although Chrysler execs have been tight lipped on specifics it’ll highlight one of the company’s brands.  Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne announced the mammoth spot at the J.D. Power Automotive Roundtable:

“I won’t tell you what it’s about, but it will be worth watching. One of the things we have to do is make the distinction about what is essential about the four brands. We will start doing that.”

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A few details about the ad are known–it was developed by superstar ad agency Wieden + Kennedy based in Portland, Oregon.  Wieden + Kennedy is responsible for creating so many memorable commercials and campaigns that its hard to keep up with them all.  Perhaps their most iconic campaign was created for a local shoe company–that would be Nike–imploring would be customers to ‘Just Do It’.  The Detroit Free Press not only ‘outed’ the car that the commercial will feature–the Chrysler 200, which will replace their sporty, upscale Sebring model–but also reported on a very high profile musical accompaniment for the spot.  The ad will reportedly feature the city of Detroit along with the music of one of its most popular natives, rapper Eminem.  He’ll even have a speaking role in the spot, appearing in front of the Fox Theatre to say that this is “what we do” in the Motor City.

Last year was a particularly lean year for automotive ads in the Super Bowl, and Chrysler was the only company to buy a spot to promote their Dodge line of cars.  The hope behind this year’s mega-commercial is to reposition the Chrysler brand as an upscale, luxury line.  Only time will tell if it’ll have the desired effect, but it won’t be from lack of effort or investment.

1 Comment

  • Barbara
    February 6, 9:09 pm

    Just saw the Detroit Chrysler ad and thought it was very innovative, positive and the best ad of the Super Bowl

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