Chrysler Pacifica And Kathryn Hahn Get Super Dorky In Their Caroling

It’s November now, which means we’ve officially entered Christmas/the holiday season, whether you like it or not. These Chrysler Pacifica commercials with hot mom Kathryn Hahn have all been quite dorky (sometimes delightfully and sometimes cringey), but I think this one might be the dorkiest. Ladies and gentlemen, I believe we have a strong contender for “whitest commercial of all time.” The hip-hop themed carol is “Lit Christmas” by Scott Stallone ft. MC Rellik.

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The Song From Those Jim Gaffigan Chrysler Pacifica Commercials

Jim Gaffigan stars (with his own kids) in this campaign for the Chrysler Pacifica. They’re pretty nice, slice of life spots featuring Gaffigan’s insights about parenting and protecting his family. The campaign has a huge number of ads, so I’ve only included a few of them in this post. But what really struck me is that cool song in the background. It’s “A Real Hero” by College & Electric Youth from the soundtrack to Drive. And that great song became even better when I did a bit of research and found out that it was inspired by Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the “Miracle on the Hudson” pilot.

 

Martin Sheen And Bill Pullman Swap Presidential Chat In These New Chrysler Commercials

I never watched The West Wing when it was on NBC, but thanks to Netflix, I’ve been able to see it. So it was a joy to watch Martin Sheen reprise his role as President Barlet and Bill Pullman revisit being President…Whitmore (had to look this one up) from Independence Day in these spots created by Wieden+Kennedy. I’d be more eager to vote for either of them than anyone who’s actually running this year.

 

Chrysler’s Second Half In America

Another big story I found out from AdFreak. I was in the distinct minority about Chrysler’s “Halftime in America” narrated by Clint Eastwood. It was one of the most popular Super Bowl commercials this year, but I felt underwhelmed. While I did like the copy, I thought the entire product was somewhat draggy and the huge cost undermined its message for me. In short, it was a commercial I thought I should have loved, but instead found overrated. Chrysler is debuting four new spots this weekend in the campaign created by Wieden+Kennedy. The commercials are for Chrysler’s four brands: Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram. Alright, you got me. These are great.

My Top 4 Super Bowl Commercials

The Super Bowl is the biggest night in advertising, but it can also feel hollow. This year, rates started at $3.5 million for a 30 second spot. So really, a lot of it feels like going to a bar and just seeing dudes throwing around money. The ads are mostly just for show….I don’t think anybody is going to buy a car or discover “Doe-ree-toes” simply based on a commercial. And at $3.5 million+ per ad, any corporation who would skip the Super Bowl and instead HIRE NEW WORKERS would get infinitely better PR. Alright. Now that I’ve gone on my mini-rant, here’s my pick for top 4 Super Bowl commercials.

#4  Doritos “Man’s Best Friend”

I had to pick from a number of spots for the #4 position and this came out on top. I originally had picked the other Doritos spot (“Sling Baby”), but after after thinking about it, “Man’s Best Friend” is wittier and less predictable.

#3 M&M’s “Just My Shell”

Cute and unexpected. A crowd-pleaser. The brown M&M was voiced by Vanessa Williams, and the song is LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It”.

#2 Kia Optima’s “A Dream Car. For Real Life.”

Hugely entertaining and over-the-top. At first, it seems like a typical male fantasy but it becomes surprisingly sweet with a great twist ending.

#1 Budweiser’s “Return of the King”

As a former history major and a fan of period pieces, I loved this commercial. The artistic direction is beautiful, music from The Natural works well, and it only has two words in it (and a lot of cheering). I know the beer snobs are gonna snark “Budweiser? They got that excited about crappy Budweiser?” Shut the hell up. If you had to drink disgusting bathtub gin for 13 years, you’d be ELATED for beer, Budweiser or otherwise. And it’s true. Anheuser-Busch was one of the few American breweries to survive Prohibition, and they sent a case to the White House (delivered by Clydesdales) right after repeal.

Some other notable commercials:

Chrysler’s/Clint Eastwood’s “It’s Halftime in America”

Probably the most discussed/publicized Super Bowl commercial this year. It’s been getting a lot of political implications…some are calling it the best Obama re-election commercial that will be made. This one was a big hit with advertising experts. I had mixed feelings about it. The copy is quite well-written and fairly inspiring. But to me, it was a little draggy and boring. I know Clint Eastwood is a legend and his voice leads gravitas to the commercial, but I feel like at varying points he sounds like he’s going to (1) die, or (2) yell at me to get off his lawn. Chrysler’s Eminem spot was my favorite of last Super Bowl and this is of a similar vein. It’s something I SHOULD like, but just turned out OK in my eyes. And this is a 2 minute spot starring Clint Eastwood. It must have cost an incredible amount of money. Remember what I said in the beginning of this post, about how money might be better used by HIRING WORKERS? That severely diminishes the message for me.

Bud Light’s “Rescue Dog”

Not incredibly original. But it’s cute and does have a nice message supporting rescue dogs.

Samsung’s “Thing Called Love”

I really liked the first spot of this Samsung campaign. But they kept going with it, and the campaign felt stale pretty quickly. Yes, we know that people who stand in line for consumer products are losers and the Apple cult people are really annoying. So I was surprised by this one. Using a song that was semi-popular like 9 years ago (albeit, one I’ve always liked) is a little odd. It turns into a lot of fun, though. I don’t think it’s an amazing advertisement, but one that I really enjoyed watching. Looks like a great party. And a Brian Urlacher cameo!

The 2011 Joshys: Part I

2011 is soon coming to a close, and that means year-end lists and countdowns. So I’ve decided to introduce my own awards: The Joshys. The only real parameter is that everything has to be something I’ve covered on this blog. Rather than doing a generic best/worst list, I’ve come up with some more eclectic awards. Here goes.

Campaign of the Year: Chrysler’s “Imported From Detroit”

I decided to skip picking a commercial of the year, because that’s something that can be hard to quantify. Choosing a campaign gives more room to evaluate than a single 30/60 second spot. An awesome campaign all around…writing, visuals, tagline, and overall spirit. It started at the Super Bowl with Eminem and kept on during the year.

Honorable mention: State Farm’s “State Ofcampaign and Geico’s “Easier Way To Savecampaign

Fierce competitors, these campaigns both were shown at the same time, and frequently during the same commercial breaks. Humorous and amusing.

The Houston Van Gogh Award: These commercials were so annoying that they made me want to gouge my eyes out and/or cut my ear off. Or at least change the channel.

Winner (loser?): NAPA Know How

This was shown endlessly during March Madness and throughout the spring, and has gained a new life during football season. I hate it, and I also hate that the song is so catchy.

Dishonorable mention: 5-hour Energy’s Fix the Tired

Honestly, it was a coin flip between NAPA and 5-hour Energy. The 5-hour Energy spot was shown ad nauseum during Cincinnati Reds games, where the same 10 or so commercials were aired for 6 months straight.

The Beautiful Award: Most beautiful visuals in an ad

Winner: STA Travel Australia

All three spots are beautiful, though I think “Move” is the best. Just awesome.

Honorable mentions: Blue Moon Seasonals: Pretty animation showcases the seasons and the Blue Moon offerings that go along with them.

Intel’s Most Amazing Thing: Maybe not the most amazing thing I ever saw, but pretty great.

The Boner Award: Sexiest commercial of the year

Winner: SoBe and Kate Upton

Not even close here. The past summer was one of the hottest on record in America. Mostly because of the sizzling temperatures, but also in part due to this hot commercial starring supermodel Kate Upton. As for its effectiveness…I still probably won’t buy SoBe stuff, but I now associate their products with Kate Upton’s boobs. That’s good, right?

The Explosions In The Sky Award: The most epic of 2011. These spots made everything seem more important, whether I was tooling around on Facebook or lying on the couch scratching myself.

Winner: British Airways “To Fly. To Serve.”

If I was awarding a “best commercial”, this would be a strong contender. Everything works here. Truly epic (and probably with an epic budget to match).

Honorable mention: Jim Beam’s Bold Choice: Willem Dafoe helps this spot become more epic. Award-winning too.

Well, that’s Part I. Stay tuned for Parts II and III.

Imported From Detroit: The Chrysler Campaign

First off, I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! If you’ve been reading this blog and like it, I thank you. And if you don’t like it and leave negative comments, I also thank you. Makes me feel legitimate.

Let’s think back to February. A simpler time, some might say. We still wondered where Osama bin Laden was hiding, or if he was even still alive. Most of us hadn’t heard of Herman Cain, and even less knew about his alleged gropiness. And we rooted for Ted Williams (this guy, not the baseball great turned frozen sideshow) in his ongoing struggle for sobriety. In Super Bowl XLV, I rooted for the Green Bay Packers to knock out the evil Pittsburgh Steelers, mostly out of allegience, though partly also to make my preseason pick of the Pack as Super Bowl Champions look good. I remember the commercials being mostly unmemorable. Then in the 3rd quarter, this came on.

Considering how much Super Bowl advertising costs, a 2 minute spot is almost unheard of. But this Chrysler ad made by Wieden+Kennedy broke the mold and became one of the best rated/most buzzed about commercials of the year. From the beginning when Detroit was shown, I knew it would be a car commercial. The steely and ominous voiceover starts, and contains great copy. “It’s the hottest fires that makes the hardest steel”. Visually, the ad shows both the gritty and pretty of Detroit. It’s chugging along well, and then really takes off with some choral notes and the music to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”. “Lose Yourself” is one of the greatest pump-up anthems of our generation and maybe of all-time. The music gets louder and grows along with the chorus, as we see Eminem driving while the copy notes “this isn’t New York City, or the Windy City, or Sin City. And we’re certainly no one’s Emerald City.” The music grows to a crescendo before quieting, and then a looking like hell Eminem delivers the defining line: “This is the Motor City. And this is what we do“. It closes with the genius tagline “Imported from Detroit” and the Chrysler logo.

Blown away. I was amazed at the fusion and metaphor of Detroit, Chrysler, Eminem, and to a larger extent America as all having gone through miserable times but tentatively on the comeback trail. It made me want to give Detroit a second chance…I had visited when I was 13 and was not impressed to put it very kindly. This was the most patriotic commercial I had seen a quite a long time. And it won the Emmy for Best Commercial.

The “Imported from Detroit” campaign continued throughout the year. Each featured Detroit or someone associated with Detroit. One starred badass Detroit Lions defenseman Ndamukong Suh returning to his hometown of Portland, Oregon. Another featured the music of Jay-Z’s “Heart Of The City”.

And now, in today’s Thanksgiving game between the still undefeated Packers and trendy contender Lions, the newest “Imported from Detroit” commercial will make its television debut. As detailed on Adfreak, the voiceover is a dramatic reading of  “See It Through”, a poem written in 1917 by Detroit native Edgar Albert Guest. It’s also backed up by Muddy Waters singing “Mannish Boy”. Simply an awesome campaign.

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