Imported from Detroit...Misguided Marketing

With what I consider one of the dumbest advertising campaigns ever, Chrysler kicked off 2011 with a Super Bowl ad employing the truly irritating slogan: Imported from Detroit, and a white rapper, all paid for by the way with taxpayers' bail-out money. The last time anyone checked, that unfortunate metropolis was still located within the geographic confines of the USA although it can be arguably opined that it is being governed as a Third-World despotism.

Does it lend some cachet to Chrysler to imply their products possess some foreign chic that lends an exotic appeal not available to vehicles manufactured in Tennessee, Texas or South Carolina? I honestly don't get Chrysler's marketing intent but whatever it is, the perception out here in flyover country is that it is seriously misguided.

By way of full disclosure, I own and drive two Chrysler products, a 2000 Jeep Wrangler I foolishly bought right off the spotlighted, rotating, circular, showroom floor in 1999 and a 2006 Sebring convertible. I love both of them. They are good vehicles providing reliable service over many years with but rare repairs. That being said, I still think the ad campaign is really, really dumb. Most politically aware Americans realize that Detroit has been effectively destroyed as a functioning municipality by a succession of liberal Democrat administrations that have become dominated by Detroit's black majority. Corruption and mismanagement abound. Therein lies the unintended problem with Chrysler's slogan. Most Americans have become aware of the travails of Detroit and its inept governance, to the extent that Chrysler might as well have a slogan that says Imported from Zimbabwe. Is that unfortunate? Yes. Is it reality? Yes, again.

To put it as plainly as possible, to boast that anything is a product of Detroit in these ill-fated times, is reality challenged. To proclaim that it is imported from said Detroit only adds to that negative image. Now it's no longer just a wretched birthplace for your vehicle, it's a foreign, birthplace, infamous for its failings. Add to that the major marketing minus that, if liberal Democrats were to be correct in their wild estimates of American racism, a majority of the public would never even consider buying products imported from a black-governed, foreign entity. One must also consider that with a racially self-selected African-American president who pompously proclaimed his intent to make the world's oceans recede but has instead flooded our country with waves of resurgent racism, reawakening issues that the optimists among us had once thought settled and gone, that catchphrase, "Imported from Detroit," becomes sadly self-defeating.

Irony abounds. How much of this clueless community organizer's economic program was focused on Detroit? Far too much we now know. And if one is to believe Chrysler's promotion, far too much focused on a metropolitan area that they would now have Americans view as a foreign entity? I ask you, how can this misguided Chrysler campaign be anything but just plain dumb? The reality is that most Americans will continue to consider imports as coming from Japan, Korea and Germany, not a benighted, beleaguered, black-led Detroit.