Everyone knows that Superbowl Commercials are super expensive - $3 million for a 30 second spot. Assuming that there is no bulk-buying discount, Chrysler’s two minute ad featuring Eminem would have set them back $12 million just for the airtime. But apart from being a well-crafted commercial, the tagline is worth a class discussion in the context of the U.S auto market as well as general economic theory.
The youtube video of the commercial can be found by clicking here.
Seeking to create a positive vibe about Detroit and the car industry that it has been both its blessing and its curse, the “imported from Detroit” tagline is an interesting idea. Americans are notoriously patriotic and having visited a few times, it is clear that some people see buying American cars as their patriotic duty. Many cars have bumper stickers that essentially say that buying a Japanese or European car is tantamount to treason. Buying a Detroit car will perhaps stir up some memories of the glory days of the auto industry and consumers will be proud to buy not only American but more specifically from “Motor City”
But in terms of economic theory, it could be argued that the “imported” tag is accurate because in a sense, a consumer purchasing a car in say New York is importing from Detroit just as much as when they buy a Toyota from Japan or a BMW from Germany. The difference being that it is usually acceptable to slap a tariff on a Japanese car but certainly not on one from Detroit.
For an interesting viewpoint on whether American (or any country) drivers have some sort of obligation to buy American made cars, see this blog post. (btw, Cafe Hayek has been added to the list of blogs I have subsribed to...check it out on right hand side, some good stuff, if a little right wing!!)
And a question for those who remember that other great white rapper - whatever happened to Vanilla Ice?
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