Clint Eastwood Super Bowl

February 9, 2012 by staff 

Clint Eastwood Super Bowl, Some weeks ago, the chief marketing officer of Chrysler and Fiat said he didn’t think it would be possible in 2012 to top last year’s highly praised, much-viewed two-minute “Imported From Detroit” Super Bowl spot.

“Yet,” Olivier Francois said in January, a sly smile on his face, “I’m tempted.”

This past week, “Halftime in America,” a rallying cry for a strong America to emerge “in the second half” generated special attention, not just because it starred Mr. Eastwood or because the two-minute spot expanded last year’s Detroit-themed ad to encompass the entire country. It also raised a political hue and cry from former Presidential adviser Karl Rove and other Republicans, who claimed the ad was a subtle approbation of President Barack Obama’s auto industry bailouts.

“I’m really delighted, we all are here, we were able to make this dream happen,” Mr. Francois told Ad Age in a phone interview this week from Chicago, where he was attending the Chicago Auto Show. The spot, which hammered home a message about America’s resiliency, delivered in Mr. Eastwood’s trademark gruff manner, “was exactly the message we wanted. … The whole idea was designed around him.”

Mr. Francois, who joined Chrysler in 2009, expounded further on the game spot, on working with Mr. Eastwood, and on a variety of related topics:

On the concept behind “Halftime in America”: “The idea was to expand on last year’s message, which was a rallying cry around Detroit, to bring that to another level. … We were very ambitious. Our brief to [Wieden & Kennedy] contained two things: We wanted a follow-up of ‘Imported’ but saying something totally different; and we wanted the halftime idea, that was something we started talking to NBC about a long time ago.”

On Mr. Eastwood: “He’s maybe the wisest guy I’ve ever met; he feels deeply in everything he says. I had no other idea [for the spot] than Mr. Eastwood. It was totally designed around him, he’s the only man that, when he talks, you listen and you believe … because he’s an American icon, and he’s in his 80s and he hasn’t got anything to prove.

“I approached him myself. It hasn’t been a very easy journey — he isn’t someone you approach easily. Clearly we had to convince him, but it wasn’t me, it was the message.

“We had to be very clear with him that this wouldn’t be a commercial. … I call it a video.”

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