I’m not a football fan. I’m actually not much of a sports guy. I enjoy the occasional hockey game, but as a rule CANNOT bear to sit through any sports game or really even care who the players are or if they win. So when I watch the Superbowl I watch for the commercials. Now normally I’d write-up a blog about my favorite commercials, and I still may. But what I have to talk about right now is my dismay at the Chrysler/Clint Eastwood ad that played last night.
First off, the average Superbowl ad this year cost between 2.5 to 3.5 million for 30 seconds. Chrysler had a two-minute ad. So what, you say? we live in a free market, capitalist society and a private corporation can spend money however they see fit. I agree completely. Except in this case. Because I believe that Chrysler spent our taxpayer money on that ad.
For those of you living under a rock, in a coma or tripping on acid for the last few years, a few of our car companies got themselves into some trouble. And when they got in trouble, instead of making bold moves, making hard decisions and pulling themselves out the old-fashioned way, they ran to uncle Sam for a bailout. Chrysler? yeah, they got 12.4 billion in taxpayer money. As of today they still owe us 2.97 billion. And while they have regained some market leadership, they are also still taking low-interest loans from the Govt. at @ 3.5 billion a year.
Now, I’m not an accountant or math wizard but if they owe us almost 3 billion and they’ve borrowed another 3.5 billion, then where oh, where did the roughly 8-12 million for this ad come from? where did the money to pay Clint Eastwood come from? Where did the money to film a very slick, high concept ad come from? That’s right, your pocket.
The second thing that bothers me is that it was a thinly veiled political stump speech for President Obama’s re-election. Whether you agree with his politics or not, when a private corporation spends millions of dollars on an ad that uses multiple catchphrases and talking points from the democrats and president Obama’s speeches, but doesn’t have to identify itself as a political ad, there’s something wrong going on. Then when you add the fact that said company owes the govt. a lot of money and the Obama administration a lot of credit for pushing the bailout, plus a Government appointed CEO running the company, I call shenanigans.
Any positive message that could have been derived from that commercial has been ruined by its own dishonesty. it’s time to call a spade a spade, and if we are so concerned about corporate responsibility and transparency, then you should be pissed about this ad, even if it does benefit your chosen political party.