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Chrysler Super Bowl Ad Racks Up Awards

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2011 Chrysler 200

author photo by Jeffrey Archer June 2011

Chrysler's two-minute "Born of Fire" advertisement featuring Eminem impressed many when it debuted during this year's Super Bowl – and despite the ad's rough images from a gritty, hardened Detroit, judges at this year's Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity were similarly stirred. The ad took home five awards at the festival, including a "Gold Lion" – the festival's top award – for Best Automotive Commercial.

Created by Chrysler in partnership with Portland, Oregon-based ad agency Wieden+Kennedy, the ad also took home Gold Lions for Best Direction, Best Use of Music and Best Script. The spot also earned a third-place Bronze Lion for Best Editing.

"The Chrysler Brand is humbled to be awarded with such a prestigious honor at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity," said Oliver Francois, the Chrysler brand's president and chief executive. "The 'Born of Fire' commercial and the 'Imported from Detroit' campaign describe the comeback of the Chrysler brand and truly define American luxury."

Featuring images of modern Detroit, the ad's narrator describes the city as full of "hard work and conviction and a know-how that runs generations deep in every last one of us." Eminem appears at the end of the spot, stepping from the 2011 Chrysler 200 into Detroit's celebrated Fox theatre, where a gospel choir is singing on stage. After the rapper announces, "This is the Motor City – and this is what we do," the commercial ends with its now-famous "Imported from Detroit" tagline.

"The Chrysler brand team would like to thank all of our partners who helped us to create such an impactful campaign," said Francois, adding that "the true honor should go to the hard-working and determined employees of the Chrysler Group and the people of Detroit who served as the inspiration for this campaign and gave us the backdrop to create something truly amazing."

While Chrysler is celebrating its triumph in Cannes, the automaker suffered a legal hurdle back home related to the popular commercial. On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled against the automaker's request to bar a local Detroit retailer from selling T-shirts with the "Imported from Detroit" slogan, reasoning that Chrysler "has not shown that it will suffer irreparable harm" if the store continues selling the merchandise.

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