What Detroit product was Eminem driving first?
So here's the shot:
Rap star Eminem is driving around the dark, gritty streets of Detroit. The beat from his hit song "Lose Yourself" is blaring in the background. Images of highway signs around Detroit appear. This guy looks baaaaaaad.
I bet you think I'm referring to Chrysler's much-ballyhooed Super Bowl ad that helped launch the 200 sedan -- which became Chrysler's top-selling vehicle in May with 7,098 sold. Not bad for a refreshed Sebring, huh?
But in a brief scene in this video, Eminem is driving a bad new GMC Yukon (go to the 2:18 spot on this video).
Sure enough, Eminem drove a General Motors product in the original video of "Lose Yourself" that came out with his hip-hop feature film "8 Mile" in 2002.
Somewhere a GM marketer is crying.
Fast forward to June 2011, and Chrysler and Eminem's people are crying foul about an Audi video that essentially copied the now-famous Super Bowl ad.
In fact, Eminem's licensing agent filed legal action in Germany. But the video was filmed in Germany, not Detroit, and Audi isn't apologizing.
"The video referred to is not an advertisement," an Audi U.S. spokesman said in an e-mail to Yahoo! Music. "Also, this does not involve Audi of America. The video was not shown here in the U.S."
Instead of making a big spat about all this, Chrysler and Eminem might want to enjoy Audi getting criticized in the court of public opinion for its lack of originality -- and remember the old adage that imitation is the highest form of flattery.
After all, when you go back to the original video, Eminem drove a GMC Yukon.
You can reach Philip Nussel at firstname.lastname@example.org.