Can new $14m ad star Clint Eastwood deliver for Chrysler at the Super Bowl?

Clint Eastwood is replacing Eminem as frontman for Chrysler’s advertising during the Super Bowl tonight. The ad is to last two minutes – meaning an upfront cost of about $14m. And that’s before production and Clint’s fee are factored in.

Still, it’s probably money well spent, since the ad will upstage everyone else’s effort this year. As it happens, Chrysler has got something to brag about. It’s currently doing better than any other US auto manufacturer, posting a 44 per cent increase in year-on-year sales last month. That compares with Ford’s slightly disappointing seven per cent gain and General Motors’ six per cent drop.

The Eminem ad was widely praised at the time and later lionised at Cannes. What Clint will do to surpass last year’s effort is anyone’s guess. But then, that’s the thing about him. He doesn’t have to do very much. Just open his mouth slightly and everyone’s agog. He’s practically the Father of his Country, such is his prestige. It’s certainly greater than that of any living president.

Chrysler is coy about his role, admitting only that he will deliver a ‘pep talk’ to the nation. Should be interesting. One thing we won’t be seeing, I suspect, is a reprise of his last film role, in Gran Torino. Despite the tempting Motown parallel, the movie is about a retired Ford worker who drives about in a classic Ford car. I bet Ford is kicking itself.

PS. Eminem is being sued for $9m by a homeless man, Stephen Lee Pieck, who alleges the rapper stole the above-mentioned ‘Born from Fire’ ad idea from him.

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About Stuart Smith

Stuart Smith is one of the most incisive and knowledgeable commentators on global marketing. He was a long-time editor of Marketing Week during the period when it was the UK's leading marketing, media and advertising specialist publication. Visit Stuart Smith Blog.