by Michael Dickens • see Chrysler’s Import
“Are you among the restless many?” begins the narration to “Restlessness,” the second of three advertisements Fiat Chrysler Automobiles aired during Super Bowl XLVIII.
The sixty-second “Restlessness” aired during halftime of Sunday night’s Super Bowl broadcast. It was a continuation of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee launch and Jeep’s “Built Free” advertising campaign, which debuted in October 2013.
Embracing the simple themes of journey and outdoor adventure, the scenic “Restlessness” featured a pack of adventure-seeking youths and young adults, “those who embrace a restless spirit, coveting what life has to offer in a continuous pursuit of adventure.”
“Restlessness,” filled with both urban cityscapes and the beauty of nature, was created in partnership with Dallas-based The Richards Group, and it was centered around the Jeep Cherokee and why the brand made the midsize sport utility vehicle.
According to a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles press release, “the commercial captures the Jeep Cherokee as it is juxtaposed with vibrant images of humanity that illustrates the simple yet impactful moments that the restless seek.”
Skift.com labeled “Restlessness” as “the closest thing to a travel-themed Super Bowl ad.”
While “Restlessness” may not have garnered the same buzz as FCA’s other Super Bowl advertisements, which starred the luxury Masarati Ghibli and legendary musician Bob Dylan pitching the virtues of “American Pride” for the new Chrysler 200, the colorful spot for the Jeep Cherokee was genuine and its message positive. And, it dared us to follow our restless heart.
Are you among the restless many?Each tick of the old clock,a reminder, that stillness is what actually kills us.When the walls close in, do you climb out?When the road ends, do you go on?Restlessness starts with an itch.And ends in progress.It is your ambition refusing to be bottled up.Begging for a little blue sky time.Genetics have a voice that you can only deny so long.They scream: “GO. RUN. ACT. FIND. DARE.”Where you go when you have the itch is free will.How you get there, is why we made the new Cherokee.
Maserati’s introduction to the North American market with the new Ghibli — and to more than 100 million Super Bowl XLVIII viewers — was not just the result of hard work and dedication. It had an element of surprise, too.
Like a trailer for a motion picture we hadn’t seen or heard of yet, the sport-luxury brand Maserati stepped out of the shadows and onto the global stage of Sunday night’s primetime Super Bowl broadcast ready to strike.
“The world is full of giants,” says the advertisement’s young, impressionable and semi-poetic narrator. “They have always been here, lumbering in the schoolyards, limping through the alleys. We had to learn how to deal with them, how to overcome them.
“We were small but fast, remember?”
Maserati’s 90-second Super Bowl spot “Strike,” featuring the Academy Award-nominated actress Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) and directed by the American filmmaker David Gorden Green (Undertow), was filmed on location in Los Angeles and created in partnership with the independent advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy (W+K) of Portland, Ore., best known for its work for Nike.
It brought Maserati’s story of passion and tenacity to life — and at great cost, too. Each 30-second Super Bowl spot was estimated to cost advertisers $4 million. [Editor’s note: that’s $838 per car sold by Maserati in the US during 2013.]
“Strike,” the first of three Super Bowl advertisements for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles — the combination of Chrysler Group and Fiat Group— aired during the first commercial break after the start of the first quarter of Super Bowl XLVIII Sunday evening. Its other advertisements spotlighted the Jeep Cherokee and the new Chrysler 200. (FCA’s brands include Chrysler, Dodge Jeep, Ram, SRT, Mopar, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Fiat, Lancia, and Maserati.)
The Ghibli, Maserati’s first mid-size four-door luxury sports sedan, was first unveiled to U.S. audiences last November at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Available with all-wheel drive, its starting price is $66,900 and is powered by a Ferrari built twin-turbo V6 engine that is capable of over 400 horsepower. [Editor’s note: The car itself is loosely based on the Chrysler 300C; the two have similar dimensions, the same transmission, and similar architectures, except for a dramatically revised front suspension. That change, the unique engines, and a great deal of tuning work make the Ghibli feel completely different from the 300C.]
“We know luxury sports sedan buyers are met with a lot of options these days,” said Harald Wester, CEO of Maserati SpA, “but in this category, cars have become more and more uniform. The Ghibli is the newest and most distinguished option in an all-too indistinguishable luxury sports sedan market.
“We’ve worked hard at designing and engineering the Ghibli and there is no better time to make an impactful introduction than while the entire country is watching.”
“Strike” was reminiscent of some of Chrysler’s sleek, cinematic “Imported From Detroit”-themed advertisements that debuted during recent Super Bowl broadcasts: Eminem (“Born of Fire”) in 2011, Clint Eastwood (“Halftime in America”) in 2012, and last year Oprah Winfrey (“Whole Again”) and Paul Harvey (“Farmer”). “Strike” was gripping, it grabbed our attention, and it told a David-and-Goliath story about Maserati’s introduction to the North American market. (Francois Olivier, who was in charge of Chrysler marketing when it created those commercials, is now in charge of FCA marketing as a whole.)
Indeed, the “Strike” advertisement for the Maserati Ghibli was the opposite of ordinary.
Editor’s note: Automakers took up around 13 minutes of the Super Bowl, at around $8 million per minute. Jaguar, now owned by India’s Tata, tried to change staid impressions of the brand; Kia sought to pave the way for its $60,000 sedan car; GM and Toyota tried to generate some excitement, the latter using Muppets. How successful each brand was, will be discovered later today when the “post game” YouTube ratings come out. The Chrysler, Jeep, and Maserati ads were noticeable for how little of the cars were shown.
2014 Super Bowl Ads: America’s Import
2013 Super Bowl ads: Year of the Farmer • Whole Again
Also see: Imported From Detroit • Halftime in America • Chrysler ads
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