How would Chrysler and Wieden & Kennedy top their 2011 Super Bowl classic “Born of Fire,” in which a chip-on-a-shoulder voiceover, Eminem’s attitude and soaring gospel notes relit Detroit pride in all of 120 seconds? Its answer, “Halftime in America,” brings out Clint Eastwood to turn the growl up to 11 and rally the whole country instead of one city.
“People are out of work and they’re hurting and they’re all wondering what they’re going to do to make a comeback,” Clint says. “And we’re all scared because this isn’t a game.” But if it seems we’ve lost our heart sometimes, amid discord and fog, we all rallied, he says. “All that matters now is what’s ahead.”
Some viewers loved it. But Karl Rove, former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, suggested Chrysler was not only promoting itself but rewarding President Obama for the auto bailout. "It was not intended to be any type of political overture on our part," Chrysler Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne responded to Detroit radio station WJR-AM. "You know, we're just an ingredient of a big machine here in this country that makes us go on." On the left, a writer for The Nation called it “the one truly stunning ad” of the Super Bowl, but pointed out that 50 seconds in, images from 2011’s pro-union protests in Wisconsin appeared -- without the union signs. For his part, Eastwood, who supported John McCain in the prior election, said in a statement: "I am certainly not politically affiliated with Mr. Obama. It was meant to be a message about just about job growth and the spirit of America. I think all politicians will agree with it. I thought the spirit was OK. I am not supporting any politician."
Director: David Gordon Green. Production company: Chelsea Pictures. Director of photography: Eric Treml. Executive producers: Allison Amon, Lisa Mehling, Patrick McGoldrick. Producer: Melinda Nugent.
Executive creative directors: Mark Fitzloff, Susan Hoffman. Creative director:s Aaron Allen, Joe Staples, Micahel Tabtabai. Copywriters: Matthew Dickman, Smith Henderson, Kevin Jones. Art director: Jimm Lasser. Agency producer" Bob Wendt.
VFX: Method Studios L.A. Producer: Colin Clarry. Flame artist: Claus Hansen. Music: Revolver Studios. Sound producer: Collin Hegna. Composer: Alison Ables. Editorial: Joint Editorial. Editor: Tommy Harden.
AGENCY: Wieden & Kennedy
QUARTER AIRED: Halftime