Adam L. Silverman, PhD*
A couple of the commenters in the Superbowl open thread have remarked on the Chrysler ad featuring Clint Eastwood yesterday. I watched it, as well as most of the other ads and the occasional bits of football that they broadcast in between them, with an Information Operations (IO) bubba. Always interesting to see what the messaging professionals think of the professional messaging. Anyhow it was pretty clear that this was one of the two or three best ads of the night (and I do agree that the Fiat ad was great too). What immediately struck me was just 1) powerfully done ad, 2) is that Clint Eastwood? Really? Given the subject matter of the ad and what I think I know of his politics?, 3) I bet a whole lot of people are going to look at this as a political ad and specifically for President Obama's reelection.
What struck me the most was the politics behind the ad and what it would mean that Clint Eastwood, who is often identified as a Republican, but describes himself as a libertarian had agreed to do it. As one can imagine, depending on one's political views, not to mention how one feels about the Obama Administration stepping in and helping to manage Chrysler (and GM's) restructuring, seems to determine one's response to the ad. Apparently Chrysler and the ad's makers actually tried to play down the politics by using footage of union supporters (with permission), but carefully avoiding footage of signs that would show it was explicitly union. Karl Rove has weighed in against Mr. Eastwood's participation, so he may be voted off of the Republican Island or made an unperson or something....
So what say you all? Good, bad, or otherwise on this ad?
* Adam L. Silverman is the Culture and Foreign Language Advisor at the US Army War College (USAWC). The views expressed here are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of USAWC and/or the US Army