Remember when Em did that hugely talked about ad for Chrysler, for the Superbowl? the longest Superbowl ad in history…

Eminem in Chrysler Commercial

Well, as a die hard Em fan and knowing how integral he is, at first I was struck and dumbfounded as to why he suddenly did two commercials after an entire career of turning a blind eye to ‘the quick buck’ in exchange for a small part of his credibility. I was certainly one of the fans saying that by doing this Em was effectively selling-out but that didn’t quite convince me either as… there’s so many things he could of done over the years for gigantic bundles of cash that he didn’t and it’s been clear he’s not motivated by money. So I was asking myself “why?” as I’m sure many people were.

Thankfully the true agenda slowly emerged with both ads. The first of which was a sort of ironic anti-ad for Lipton Brisk (ice tea) in which Em explained why he doesn’t do ads, IN an ad. He also wrote the comedic short, so you could argue it was a small piece of creative experimentation but the real reason was that Shady Records made a deal with Lipton to distribute music in an ‘exciting’ new way, which, still remains to be seen. So, that was that ad sorted but more importantly… why the Chrysler ad?…

I’ll tell you why. As any Eminem fan knows, Em is from Detroit and proudly spouts its name whenever he can. He carries his city’s name at all times and never forgets his roots. He also still lives in Detroit.

As you may also know, Detroit is known as the ‘Motor City’ due to its status as America’s leading car production ground. The motor industry of Detroit is infamous and used to be a crucial and booming element in the US economy, prior to the recession and before it all imploded in on itself: forcing Chrysler to declare themselves bankrupt. The result of which lead to them being partially bought-out by Fiat (Italy).

Eminem has always expressed concern for his city and likes to give back to it if possible, as he believes in loyalty and community. You may remember his poetic little CBS spot entitled Love Letter to Detroit which aired in April 2009. In case you don’t, check it out:

In that spot, Em delivers a somewhat somber, sweet and genuinely heartfelt little ode to his city, its recent financial and social struggles and urges the people of Detroit to stomp onwards.

I fancy a guess that somebody from Chrysler saw this and took a page from its tone so to speak. As, the slow-burn stylistic which zooms out and across Detroit and the sort of… gritty and yet stripped down, realistic elegance of it all… it’s very similar to the Chrysler ad that Em appeared in. And it would make sense since they had Eminem in mind due to wanting to use “Lose Yourself” for the ad. But, Detroit seems to naturally imply this kind of representation anyway, just like New York recalls / inspires imagery of huge buildings, coffee, large crowds and street tramps.

So now we can see the true motive that inspired Eminem to agree to this project.

Apparently, Em was sent multiple clips all of which didn’t interest him but when he saw the Chrysler clip he became entranced and was immediately interested in appearing in the ad. Which was more than Chrysler actually asked for, as they were originally just trying to get permission to use “Lose Yourself”, not thinking Em would actually appear in the ad itself.

Eminem in Chrysler Commercial

By appearing in this ad, Em had the goal of helping a Detroit-based, historic car company boost sales thus doing his part in helping to re-build the motor industry and improve his city’s financial standing. So, a rather noble and classy move when you look at it that way. Which is a huge relief for me as a fan of his as for a while there, I just couldn’t understand why he did it. It’s nice to know his values are still intact.

And boost sales is exactly what Eminem did for Chrysler by the way. Statistics, commence…

Late 2010, Chrysler reported a net loss of $197 million.
This quarter, they reported a $116 million profit, increasing their net revenues 35{971d0a072875b4b9fb7a027a51293b64e24a2a4063055416ceedc6df90dc9fcb}, to $13.1 million.

Quite the turnaround indeed and Chrysler have stated they believe this to be due to the powerful ad of which Em helped make possible. Chrysler CFO Richard Palmer, said this…

It clearly had a fairly big impact also on market levels with (the) Eminem Super Bowl ad being extremely well-viewed on YouTube. And introducing the tag line ‘Imported from Detroit’.

It’s also likely due to the fact Em was adamant to go with a car made in Detroit (which then inspired the tagline), meaning they had to actually use an older model than is available but… Em definitely had the right idea in mind and turned what would of probably been a bog-standard commercial into a small slice of public art for a local and legendary car manufacturer.

The effectiveness of the ad also shows Em’s power as a public figure and that’s because he’s been very careful throughout his career, hand-picking his dealings, never taking the cheap and easy way out and always standing on an artistic high-ground. When you do that, you command a certain respect in people’s mind and, it’s the fact he’s always been very very serious about what he does, always putting his all into it at any given moment and becoming known as an increasingly reclusive perfectionist…

It’s these sort of qualities that create mystique in people’s minds and when you become a figure of mystique, you naturally draw people to you and appear interesting because so few people of such immense global status, historically speaking… are so, ‘within themselves’ so to speak. As, his art aside, Eminem is a fairly normal guy but he only gives people peeks of who he is. He may of done hundreds (thousands even) of interviews over the years but they’re within his world aka on hip-hop channels or little specials, on his terms and he doesn’t bow to popular-pressure or pander to a headline.

It’s this tactic which has been employed knowingly by Eminem and his camp (mainly Em and Paul Rosenberg) for every move they’ve ever made and it’s why after 11 years of being signed to a major-label, he’s still one of (maybe THEE) the biggest artists on planet Earth and it’s why his latest album (now his sixth major, Recovery) sold nearly 750,000 in its first week. Which at this point… is incredible. I mean who keeps up that kind of momentum? answer: nobody thus far. Not even Michael Jackson was selling like he was a new face, after 11 years. He was still adored and as gigantic as could be but, the interest in his music and its quality, waned. Where as Em and Co. keep the interest frenzied by making people want more of Eminem. They release things momentarily, they slow-burn his image and intent onto his fans and the public, they give you a peek behind the curtain and then quickly pull it shut again. This is the absolute key to creating excitement, suspense and buzz. But of course, you could do this all you like and if the end result is a crappy product, it will soon become old. It’s the fact that he rarely disappoints that this works so well for him.

Most people think the way to succeed is to overwhelm people. To just give out as much as humanely possible, constantly, thus effectively forcing your way into people’s consciousness. This may occasionally work (Drake!) but it most certainly lessens the perception of you. It results in you looking cheap and low-standard. As… high-quality things are usually not available in abundance. They’re carefully crafted and unique and therefore you have to wait for them, they’re a privilege, not a right. And that’s what Eminem has made his music. A privilege.

I also think this is the attitude implied in the Chrysler ad and I’m sure Em had something to do with that.

What’s also strange and… impressive is… well, take the fact that the Chrysler ad comes across as classy, downplayed and elegant. Now take the fact that Eminem raps about eating babies and raping women (endlessly), amongst any other number of unimaginable horrors and spews endless, intentionally juvenile madness in his music – giving himself no limits and embracing melodramatic psychopathy and eloquent sociopathic hell-raising to the nth degree. Consider that, and yet consider how well the ad STILL works on all levels.

This is because Em has done a great job of separating ‘Eminem the artist’ and ‘Eminem the public figure’. He may wield chainsaws and breakdown the walls of congress in his music but in real life, he’s been able to maintain this image of intelligence and reservation in people’s minds. People would expect him to be loud-mouthed, foul and angry (which he isn’t). But, most people still do not understand how to separate his creativity and his reality (COUGH Pitchfork STILL thinking he’s homophobic COUGH FUCKING MORONS COUGH!). But even people who think he’s foul or can’t separate it to the right degree, still seem to respect him and know he’s a class-act. Like he himself once said “you can’t deny talent”. It’s almost like… if you see Robert De Niro portray a rapist and then in real life of course, he goes back to being De Niro. Nobody would think De Niro is actually a rapist… well, Pitchfork employees would maybe but the rest of us understand that, on-screen De Niro is not real life De Niro.

This is harder for Eminem to achieve though given the fact that he doesn’t emphasize the walls of fiction so boldly; he uses his own life, real life figures and the reality around him and creates fiction out of all of that. As apposed to creating complete fiction… which is why I think a lot of average music fans and people who are not used to art in music seem to have a hard time knowing what’s real and what’s not when he says it. Personally, it couldn’t be more obvious to me, just listen!!.

Eminem in Chrysler Commercial

Well, that’s my rant over. Well done to Chrysler, and well done to Eminem. He’s becoming quite the elder statesman of hip-hop now and making some smart moves that are elevating his status in new ways.

5 thoughts to “Chrysler’s Sales Skyrocket Thanks to Eminem

  • WilyMo021

    Great article, one of my favorites from you. Keep up the good work EmBase you’re going to own so many belts the only place they can hit you is below em’.

  • hamood

    this advert has make eminem more pupular

  • Chanel

    ah i c now Em is a very smart man

  • Matthew

    That Chrysler add was great and relevant. The iced tea one, however, ……

    • EmBase

      That was because he made a partnership deal with Lipton Brisk to distribute new artists on Shady Records though. He’s in the process of re-building Shady, which… is still a business so, that requires efficiency and funding etc. – so it was, I imagine (though don’t entirely know) – small exchange / spot in return for long-term benefits and resources for Shady.

      And, he also wrote the ad. So probably just liked that aspect and Paul said he did too.

      So, it wasn’t completely random, or just an endorsement for some pocket change. It had an aim / reasoning behind it but, I’d rather him not have been in it regardless of the fact it was ironic / tongue-in-cheek.


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