Chrysler Keeps Imported From Detroit Campaign Despite Motor City's Bankruptcy


  • Imported from Detroit Logo Picture

    Imported from Detroit Logo Picture

    Chrysler will not alter its "Imported from Detroit" campaign following the Motor City's bankruptcy filing. | July 26, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • Chrysler has no plan to alter its "Imported from Detroit" advertising campaign as a result of the city of Detroit's decision to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.
  • "'Imported from Detroit' is and will continue to be the tagline for the Chrysler brand," Olivier Francois, Chrysler's chief marketing officer, said in a statement on Thursday.
  • There had been speculation within the auto industry that Chrysler might rethink the edgy campaign.

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan — Chrysler has no plan to alter its "Imported from Detroit" advertising campaign as a result of the city of Detroit's decision to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

"'Imported from Detroit' is and will continue to be the tagline for the Chrysler brand," Olivier Francois, Chrysler's chief marketing officer, said in a statement on Thursday.

There had been speculation within the auto industry that Chrysler might rethink the edgy campaign.

The concern is that Detroit's bankruptcy filing could have negative implications for the Chrysler brand.

The city of Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy on July 18 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The filing is the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history.

The catchy tagline was introduced in a two-minute TV commercial titled "Born of Fire" that was created for the Chrysler 200. The commercial aired during the 2011 National Football League's Super Bowl.

The spot featured rap star Eminem driving a Chrysler 200 down the gritty streets of Detroit on a cloudy, cold winter day, as a track from his song "Lose Your Self" played in the background. A narrator describes Detroit as "a town that's been to hell and back" in the commercial.

The commercial stressed the strength and resilience of the people of Detroit and was critically praised by the media and some competing automakers. The message and scenes also resonated well with Americans. Since then over 16.3 million viewings have been recorded on Youtube.

That commercial, iterations of the "Imported from Detroit" tagline in other Chrysler brand commercials since then, and a wide range of new or re-engineered vehicles are credited with turning the automaker's finances around.

"The brand continues to build upon this theme with current advertising such as, 'Who We Are' for the 2013 Chrysler 300 Motown Edition, 'Unboxed' for the 2013 Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Luxury Edition and with partnerships with Detroit icons like Carhartt and the internationally known Detroit Jazz Festival," Francois said in the statement to Edmunds.

"As we move forward, we will appeal to the consumer who appreciates not having to 'cross an ocean' to find quality, style and technology when it can be found right here, 'Imported from Detroit,'" he said.

The "Imported from Detroit" tagline also has been used on merchandise, ranging from caps and hooded sweatshirts, to decals and plastic license plate frames.

"Over the past two years, nearly $64,000 has been donated to charity in total from 'Imported from Detroit' merchandise sales," Chrysler spokesman Eileen Wunderlich told Edmunds.

She said the money has been divided evenly among four charities in Southeast Michigan: the Marshall Mathers Foundation, Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Michigan, Habitat for Humanity Detroit and Think Detroit PAL.

Edmunds says: If Detroit turns itself around, the "Imported from Detroit" tagline could become a badge of honor.

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