Chrysler's tough-guy ad scores parody gold
|Larry P. Vellequette covers Chrysler Group for Automotive News.|
When does a company know when an advertising campaign has slipped into the sweet spot of popular culture? When it's parodied -- over and over again.
On Thursday night, "30 Rock," NBC's critically acclaimed comedy starring Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin, took its swing at Chrysler's "Halftime in America" Super Bowl spot.
Baldwin's character hires aging action star Stacy Keach to inspire America on behalf of "Kouchtown," a furniture subsidiary whose American-made products have fallen on hard times.
Keach, an accomplished character actor most famous as the TV detective Mike Hammer in the mid-1980s, reprises Clint Eastwood's now-famous poorly lit tunnel walk from Chrysler's halftime spot.
But Keach's speeches take on a far more violent tone in the series of three parody spots, two for Kouchtown and one for… Bazooka Joe bubble gum? CLICK HERE.
Chrysler's two-minute commercial from the 2012 Super Bowl has been viewed at least 11.5 million times on Youtube. It also has spawned dozens of small and large parodies, including those produced by Saturday Night Live that appeared soon after the Super Bowl.
All of this comedic attention certainly hasn't hurt Chrysler. Its sales through March are up 39 percent, and, according to a story in Thursday's Detroit Free Press, its perception among consumers in a recent survey topped that of GM this week.
If Chrysler's trend of 24 straight months of year-over-year sales growth keeps up, Chrysler dealers may keep laughing all the way to the bank.
You can reach Larry P. Vellequette at firstname.lastname@example.org.