In the Internet age, little is regarded as a straightforward message. Everything from commercials to children’s cartoons are dissected until someone finds something to be upset about. People always seem to be on high alert; looking for hidden messages or subliminal plots that stretch the moral fabric of America. However, if we come back to reality, isn’t it possible that all of this is just in our heads? Is it conceivable that commercials are just trying to sell a product?
The most recent offender is a Super Bowl ad from Chrysler featuring Clint Eastwood. The ad has come under fire for being “pro Obama.” The hidden irony in all this is that Clint Eastwood is a conservative Republican, so accusing him of making an ad that supports the Democratic candidate seems absurd.
The company has denied any political agenda for the ad that ran at halftime during the Super Bowl. Eastwood stated on Fox News, “I am certainly not politically affiliated with Mr. Obama.” However, the conspiracy and hidden agenda theories continue to swirl around the Web.
When the commercial first aired (before it was deemed political), it was well received by viewers. Unfortunately for Chrysler, the media storm that followed has swept away the initial nostalgia. Smiles and chills have been replaced with anger and frustration from people who see it as political and those defend that it’s not.
From a public relations point of view, this isn’t the worst thing that could’ve happened for Chrysler. It isn’t pushing sales of cars (especially not to offended Republicans) right now, but it is keeping their ad in the news and in front of viewers. Whether people are claiming it’s for Obama or for America, it is constantly playing on the TV. Anyone who missed the commercial during halftime has now seen the ad and can form their own opinion on the matter. Chrysler has received countless minutes of free advertising due to the coverage of the debate. Who’s to say that all the free air time won’t pay off in the end?
For now, Chrysler should let the wave wash out and see where they are when the water settles. It isn’t hurting or helping their stock, but it is providing free air time for them. People will always be offended by something. In Chrysler’s case, nothing they say will change people’s opinion. The conspiracy has been rumored, and like any conspiracy, it grows and at some point blows over. Chrysler should just embrace the old saying “there’s no such thing as bad press” and let the chips fall where they may. In the end, the coverage and positivity have a greater likelihood of winning out.