Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood manages to arouse emotions with everything he says and does. His latest commercial which features him singing paeans about the resurrection of Chrysler and other Detroit car manufacturers, as a role model for a new American revival, has been seen as a backhand compliment paid to Barack Obama and his policies. The commercial went viral and drew millions of hits online.
The ad has generated considerable controversy with questions being raised about the ad makers’ motives and Eastwood’s political affiliations and the hidden agenda behind a seemingly inspirational and motivational video.
However, Eastwood is quick to refute this allegation, saying that the advertisement was apolitical and that he thought that it was in the right spirit. In an email to the New York Times he wrote “The ad doesn’t have a political message. It is about American spirit, pride and job growth. I don’t want the ad to indicate an “affiliation” with any politician or, party for that matter”. Moreover, Eastwood has donated his fees for the Chrysler commercial to charity.
When the video was shown during the half time of the Super Bowl, it got a standing ovation that went on for a long time. It touched a raw nerve amongst those people who could still relate to the effects of the recession and saw in the ad a message that there was hope for America and Chrysler’s resurrection was proof that if they could do it, so could the others – it signaled light at the end of the tunnel.
Chrysler’s chief executive Mr. Sergio Marchionne said that “We have no doubt that this ad has no political agenda of any kind but rather a statement of fact and hope for the future for all of us and America.”
What goes in the favor of the ad agency over the “It’s Halftime in America,” ad and their claims of being nonaligned and not taking any sides is their reputation as a highly imaginative and innovative ad agency that weaves socially important messages into its client’s advertisements and has amongst its clients such corporate giants as Coca Cola, Microsoft, Proctor and Gamble. They are currently collaborating with former Vice President Al Gore on a project showing concern over global warming.
There is no doubt that this ad would have been just one of many had it not been for the presence of, Clint Eastwood – he is a national icon, who represents everything Americans hold dear, is loved by millions and who for four decades has held his own and even at the age of 81, commands such awe and reverence, that a small video is discussed by the most powerful men in the world and viewed by millions.
Who can forget the squint in his eyes the quiet, gravel voice and the deadpan manner in which he delivered the unforgettable dialogue, “Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one” in his film, ‘The Dead Pool’ – his opinion has certainly got everyone talking.