As reported in The Wall Street Journal today, Chrysler Group's National Dealer Council has come out with a unified statement defending the company against complaints about the “Halftime in America” Super Bowl ad.
After an emergency meeting, here’s their statement…
"We have no doubt that this ad had no political agenda of any kind but rather [was] a statement of fact and hope for the future for all of us and America.”
This is not an insignificant development. To have a group of car dealers – often the most “hard core” of retailers – to come together like this, or to agree on anything for that matter, is quite an accomplishment.
Oliver Francois, Chrysler's chief marketing officer and architect of the ad (with some help from a really good agency called Weiden+Kennedy) said he finds the controversy perplexing. "It was designed to deliver emotions and I don't think emotions have a party. There was zero political message. It was meant more of a rally cry to get together and what makes us strong is our collective power and not our individual disagreements."
While Chrysler and Jeep vehicles were shown in the ad, there wasn’t a gas mileage claim or cash-back offer in sight. The ad gave viewers something to think about and, as Mr. Francois points out, something to feel.
Bravo, Chrysler dealers. Your brand, and every one of your franchises, just got a bit more valuable.