2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible
There's no denying that Chrysler scored big with its giant-sized, two-minute-long Super Bowl ad. The spot, which featured Eminem and the new Chrysler 200, generated a huge response, especially on social networks like Twitter. In fact, a new study says that the commercial is still causing buzz, but we have to wonder: will Chrysler be able to put that buzz to use?
It should go without saying that not all of the chatter around Chrysler's ad has been positive. There are still plenty of consumers in America and elsewhere who hold a grudge against Chrysler for taking federal bailout dough. (And although it's less frequently stated, there's also some bias against the automakers new, Italian management.) Our sister site, PoliticsAndCars, even posted a rebuttal of the clip -- or the glowing response to it -- arguing that the emotions it roused were "bizarre and wrong".
But never underestimate the power of a pumping backbeat and a gospel choir. Media analytics outfit Alterian says that the ad remains a topic of conversation, and that roughly 74% of related mentions of the Chrysler 200 in social media have been positive. No small achievement, that.
So what's the problem?
Well, as we've pointed out on several occasions, Chrysler is playing the catch-up game when it comes to social media: the automaker just gave Jeep a blog (at a time when the blog as we know it is dying), and the company comes up short as far as mentions on Facebook, Twitter, and other networks are concerned. Our colleagues at Wired rightly note that Chrysler marketing typically drives consumers to sites run by dealers and the automaker itself -- where communication is often one-way -- rather than social networks.
Translation: Chrysler hasn't done a great job of creating an online community of fans. That's not to say that fans haven't stepped up to the plate and done that for themselves -- in fact, Jeep and (to a lesser degree) Dodge aficionados have built sizable networks online. But Chrysler hasn't aggressively followed suit, meaning that the automaker is at a disadvantage when it comes to communicating directly with consumers most likely to try and buy its products.
We have a feeling that much of Chrysler's problem lies in its recent restructuring. Before the official bankruptcy proceedings began in 2009, parts of the company completely lost momentum -- which is to be expected, really. After all, if you're unsure of your department's future, much less your own job security, you're not likely to invest much time or energy in it. But while Chrysler's bankruptcy buddy, GM, hit the ground running after restructuring, Chrysler took a lot longer to get up to speed. Here's hoping they catch up soon.
Food for thought for a Tuesday morning. For those who might've missed the Chrysler ad, we've pasted it below.