Video: Chrysler Creates a Common Enemy

Never underestimate the power of having an enemy to unite people. And certainly never underestimate how much the underdog brings people together.

Chrysler did this really well at the Super Bowl with this now famous advert featuring Eminem. Watch it:

One commentator on this video, seeing that 1,586 people had disliked the video, wrote “1,586 people have no soul”. It’s such an evocative video, and this is because it unites people in their oppression, their story of “going to hell and back”. Being the underdog and having a battle to fight unites us.

The key line? When discussing the stories being written about by them “in the newspaper by people who haven’t even been here and don’t know what we’re capable of.”

Boom. That’s it. If you ever want to get people’s juices running, use the word we and get the infamous they to question our abilities.

I knew this would inspire you today because you’re also someone telling a compelling story, and we need you not to quit telling it. And I say this because the Friends here know that we’re in the habit of creating stories when others say we can’t.

(See what I just did :-)

Archived Comments

  • http://dr1665.com Brian Driggs

    This was the first time I’ve watched that commercial.

    What bothers me is how the brand is using psychological blather to suggest they care about the people of Detroit; as if the automakers themselves are not largely to blame for the constant hardships faced by the populace; all in order to somehow convince people to go into debt on a rapidly depreciating asset which they don’t need.

    Wanna talk about competing on ecosystems? How about less talk about how nobody else knows what it’s like, and more action making things better beyond selling more new cars. That’s a bailed-out business parasitically extracting value from the people, as “The New World” marches rank and file into fiefdom.

    There’s one imported every minute.

  • Whilst I share some of Brian’s skepticism around some of the questions he has, the company, how much they care and is this just the product of the ‘smarts’ at the agency, what I do like is the message that they are trying to communicate and what it is trying to do.

    I think what they are trying to do is tap into a real sense of ‘push’ motivation and uniting people against, as you say, a common enemy. However, does their new brand position ‘fit’ with everything they do. That’ll be the real test.

    By the way, who are the ‘they’ that you speak of?

    Adrian

  • / Scott Gould

    lol – passionate response! Hadn’t thought about that – I was just taken in like a sucker into all the emotion… :-)

  • / Scott Gould

    “they” is anyone contra your current position.

    E.g. for Apple, “they” can be microsoft, non-mac users, those who doubt them, and even Apple from 2 years ago.

  • Aha! What I was really asking was about the statement ‘And I say this because the Friends here know that we’re in the habit of creating stories when others say we can’t.’…….and wondered who the ‘others’ were. If the common enemy has a name and can be identified then isn’t it easier to get folks to coalesce?

  • Aha! What I was really asking was about the statement ‘And I say this because the Friends here know that we’re in the habit of creating stories when others say we can’t.’…….and wondered who the ‘others’ were. If the common enemy has a name and can be identified then isn’t it easier to get folks to coalesce?

  • http://dr1665.com Brian Driggs

    You’re no sucker. You saw that commercial for what it is – an appeal to emotion.

    Detroit doesn’t have it hard because nobody else in the country likes them; because they’ve not been given the credit they deserve. Detroit has it hard because the bulk of their economy is based on a classic Marxist dichotomy.

    The next “Imported from Detroit” commercial ought to show the suits what went to Washington, hat in hand, in jeans, doing manual labor, all while CCR’s “Fortunate Son” plays. ;)

    As for the passion, well, I’m a gearhead. My contract says I need to be more animated than most on this sort of thing. :P

  • http://dr1665.com Brian Driggs

    You’re no sucker. You saw that commercial for what it is – an appeal to emotion.

    Detroit doesn’t have it hard because nobody else in the country likes them; because they’ve not been given the credit they deserve. Detroit has it hard because the bulk of their economy is based on a classic Marxist dichotomy.

    The next “Imported from Detroit” commercial ought to show the suits what went to Washington, hat in hand, in jeans, doing manual labor, all while CCR’s “Fortunate Son” plays. ;)

    As for the passion, well, I’m a gearhead. My contract says I need to be more animated than most on this sort of thing. :P

  • Anonymous

    I’m not so sure Adrian. I think that people are often unified by a generic ‘they’ – encouraged into a ‘siege mentality’ by believing that almost everyone else is a ‘they’.

    I don’t know if it really transfers but have a look at some of the most successful moments from the history of Manchester United. Sir Alex managed to create this incredibly unified team that won things through talent but also sheer guts and determination to prove ‘them’ wrong and defeat the nay-sayers, off the back of a couple of refereeing decisions that went against them or some dodgy newspaper articles.

    At no stage was there a named, identified ‘enemy’ it was just ‘Us against the world’.

    Maybe it works both ways? I don’t know.

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