Chrysler's "Halftime" ad: a roadmap for America?

Mon Feb 6, 2012 10:07am EST
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By Bernie Woodall

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Is what is good for Chrysler good for America?

The auto maker courted controversy and won kudos for a two-minute Super Bowl advertisement that was less a car sales pitch than a political message in a presidential election year.

Rugged Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood proclaimed it was "Halftime in America" in the spot that did not mention a Chrysler car or truck but intoned that the automaker's successful turnaround could be used as an example for the United States as it struggles with high unemployment and a slow economic growth rate.

"Detroit's showing us it can be done," Eastwood said.

Traffic on Twitter showed overwhelmingly positive comments for the advertisement. The "Dirty Harry" star and Academy Award-winning director spoke to Americans as if he were a football coach making a halftime speech encouraging his team to work together to win in the second half.

"This country can't be knocked out with one punch," Eastwood said in the ad. "We get right back up again and when we do the world is going to hear the roar of our engines. Yeah, it's halftime America. And, our second half is about to begin."

In the second half of Sunday's game, the New York Giants overcame a one-point halftime deficit to win the NFL's championship, 21-17, over the New England Patriots.

The TV spot was the last shown before the start of the second half of Sunday's game.   Continued...

<p>Workers assemble a pre-production 2013 Dodge Dart during a tour of the Chrysler Belvidere Assembly plant in Belvidere, Illinois February 2, 2012. REUTERS/Frank Polich</p>