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Controversy Churns Around Chrysler Super Bowl Ad

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jeffgilbert Jeff Gilbert
Automotive reporter for WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBS Radio News....
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  autos arrows plug v2 Controversy Churns Around Chrysler Super Bowl Ad

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AUBURN HILLS – (WWJ) One day after the Super Bowl, Chrysler’s ad is getting a lot of the attention.

While the ad disappeared briefly from You Tube, a former presidential advisor is wishing it would go away completely.

Former Bush Administration advisor Karl Rove said he was offended that the ad promoted the auto bailout, telling Fox News that it was a “sign of what happens when you have Chicago-style politics, and the president of the United States and his political minions are, in essence, using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising.”

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said the ad had “zero political content.” He also said that Clint Eastwood donated his earnings from the ad to charity.

Last year, Chrysler paid off its federal loans, and parent firm Fiat purchased the government’s stake in the company.

Meanwhile, the ads temporary disappearance from YouTube has still not been explained. While it was gone, a notice said the ad was pulled at the request of the NFL. The league says it never made that request.

Experts say the ads appearance on YouTube was as important as its appearance on the Super Bowl.

“It has to be able to be replayed in the Social Media,” said University of Detroit Mercy Marketing Professor Mike Bernacchi. “It’s the only way it can spread its tentacles and succeed.”

Last year’s Eminem ad had 20 million views on You Tube. Bernacchi says Chrysler is also hoping this ad would go viral.

“It has to be in the social media, ie You Tube,” he said. “It is essential to its promenading to success.”

The other auto ad creating controversy came from Chevrolet, poking fun at rival Ford. That prompted an attorney representing Ford sending GM a letter asking them not to run the ad. The concern was over claims comparing the Chevy Silverado to the Ford F-150. GM laughed off the letter, ran the ad, and says it may run it again in the future.

Ford did not run any Super Bowl ads this year.

There were an abundance of ads from carmakers in this year’s game. Hyundai scored laugh’s with Cheetah’s and an emergency CPR maneuver. Honda and Acura used star power with Matthew Broderick and Jerry Seinfeld.

Volkswagen reprised its Star Wars ad of last year, with a different twist.

Many of the Super Bowl ads were not surprises, as they were in previous years. Car companies carefully released their ads on YouTube and other sites, days before they were to air.

One car ad that wasn’t even produced for the Super Bowl made quite an impression. A sexy ad for the Fiat 500 prompted the most interest on the Edmunds.com auto research site.

MORE: Best Super Bowl Ads

Connect with Jeff Gilbert
Email: jdgilbert@cbs.com
Twitter: @jefferygilbert
Facebook” facebook.com/carchronicles

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