Tuesday, February 08, 2011

What would Charlotte's Super Bowl ad look like?

The commercial that has the most lingering buzz from the Super Bowl seems to be this Chrysler ad featuring Eminem. The thing is, it's not an ad for Chrysler as much as it is an ad for Detroit. Everybody has this image of Detroit as a burned-out, bankrupt city, and a lot of that is justified. But there's another side, of course, and this Detroit looks pretty great.



WCNC producer Jeremy Markovich, who's on Twitter as @deftlyinane, had some interesting thoughts after seeing the ad. I'm combining a few of his tweets here:

The Chrysler ad makes me wonder, could you do a two minute spot with this much soul about Charlotte? What would it say? Who would it show? How would it make you feel? What would it sell? Is this a corporate town? Could you do a Charlotte ad that doesn't feel like a tourism video? Cause the Detroit ad sure ain't. Who would get out of this car in Charlotte? Mayor Pat? John P. Kee? Dale Jr.? Hugh McColl? K-Ci and JoJo? Steve Smith?

Good questions from Jeremy... so now I turn those questions to you. If you did a commercial for Charlotte, what would be in it?

I'm sure we'll get our fair share of sarcasm in the comments, and that's fine. But I'd like to see some of y'all take it seriously. Sometimes it seems like the only two views we hear of Charlotte are the shiny-corporate view, or the everything-sucks view. But there's a real city here, with its own story. I'm wondering how you'd tell it.

And if you've got some ideas and a video camera, go ahead and make a version of your own! We're not looking for commercial-grade here... a Flip cam and a good idea is enough. Email me the results at ttomlinson@charlotteobserver.com.

23 comments:

tarhoosier said...

I parsed the Motor City ad thus:
Been to Hell and back-Not so, they have not returned.
This is the Motor City and this is what we do-We sing black gospel music to an empty theatre.
What do we know about luxury?-Uh, do you really want me to answer that one?

By that standard we should make an ad for Charlotte that tells how throbbingly wonderful the place is. More casinos than Vegas, better food than Paris. Charlotte is heaven and we are staying there. Nascar HOF, Bobcats attendance, unlimited banking successes: Hopelessly inflated expectations is what we do.

Rachel said...

I've lived here 6 years and I've gone from really hating Charlotte to liking it a lot. I've met some great people, I like the weather, and the housing prices are so much better than up north. There are great things to do with my kids, there's lots of homeschooling support, and spring in Charlotte is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.

Still, I feel that this city has no soul (maybe because of being so corporate), and not much that sets it apart from other post-WWII car-based cities. I can go to Florida or Ohio and see the same chain stores and restaurants and similar cul-de-sacs and new housing developments as I see here.

People talk about CLT being near the shore and the mountains- but neither of those destinations are in CLT, and the whole east coast is between the shore and the mountains. People talk about us being the next Atlanta. Besides the fact that I wouldn't want us to be more like Atlanta (esp. in regard to traffic!), why do we have to be the next anything? Why do we have to emulate another city? Why can't Charlotte create an identity in its own right?

So I don't know what our Super Bowl ad would look like. I don't know how we should present ourselves to the world during the Democratic Convention.

I do think we should highlight the growing diversity, the culture, our new museums, our wide variety of restaurants, including ethnic restaurants and those featuring local foods. A friend of mine was surprised that Charlotte had sushi! Most of the US outside of the Southeast has not even heard of Charlotte, and those that have think it's a small town full of pickup trucks, mullets, and people whose idea of ethnic food is Taco Bell.

There are so many creative, innovative people and businesses here. The diversity is growing an an incredible rate. Charlotte needs to figure out its identity and go from there.

J. Markovich said...

My suggestions: RenElvis gets out of an Astrovan in front of Moosehead. Or George Shinn gets out a helicopter that just landed in Paul Silas's front yard. Or, maybe, Jerry Richardson gets out of a golf cart in front of a Bojangles. The possibilies (of snark) are endless. A real, actual commercial would be much harder. I think it would feature a lot of Ohioans.

Anonymous said...

Rachel you are a moron. I can infer this from the fact you have friends that don't know where Charlotte is. The headquarters of Bank of America, the hometown of Charlotte Bobcats and Carolina Panthers. Your friends clearly didn't go to college if they are that ignorant. They must have no idea where the Golden State Warriors play!!!

Move back said...

Let me jump in above. I also think she is a ignorant because she mentions places like FL and Ohio as destinations of travel. Those are full of morons especially Ohio to travel there is putting your life in danger and potentially damaging the few brain cells you have. I didn't know the 20th largest city had sushi. DUMB DUMB DUMB.

Anonymous said...

J Mark, almost nailed it! Don't forget about the Jim Bakker Suite at the Plaza Hotel on Carowinds Blvd, where lot's of Ohio plates are found on their way to the beach.

Vickie Flowe said...

Okay - as a native, I know there is soul in Charlotte - neighborhoods like Sedgefield - sitting right in between Myers Park/Dilworth and South End - local restaurants like Zada Janes and anything in Plaza Midwood. Another cool place - Foskoskies on Shamrock - near the working class and strong neighborhood of Shamrock Hills. Pinky's on the Westside which is on the cusp of blossoming into something fabulous - don't forget the long standing Open Kitchen which has been in business many years - first place in Charlotte to get Pizza about 50 or so years ago. Oh, and I think we're now the 19th largest city...anyway, as for a "face" - my vote would be for Larry Sprinkle over Nature Boy - also Dale Jr. Also Hugh McColl and Jerry Richardson. Whoever said spring in the QC is breathtaking is right - someone should be working on producing that right now for the DNC. Also the diversity - we could be a poster child for "strength through diversity". C'mon folks, Tommy asked for good input - can put aside the sarcasm for a minute?

tarhoosier said...

The warriors play in Oakland, notwithstanding the Golden Gate Bridge on the uniforms.

Anonymous said...

does it have to be like Detroit? I mean, Charlotte pulled itself out of ambiguity from the eighties...a bible belt city in the south trying to be like Atlanta. Its had its own shortcomings...like 2008 and the banking downfall. I dont know that Charlotte has found what it does best...a fall from banking to energy? But it does have hope. This city has been built by people coming in looking for a better life..the hope for a better future. Talk about all the diversity all you want...all people, from all races, religions, backgrounds, educations, and aspirations want a better future. That's what Charlotte sells...the fact that we may not be better "right now" than Atlanta or Miami, or (insert city of choice here), but we want to be. If you want a better future, look here. I think who you want to get out of the car is a kid...someone who looks to the future without sarcasm..someone who has an ideology that they can better themselves, and this is the place to do it. This is Charlotte, and this is what we do....

Anonymous said...

Two words: Brooklyn. Decker.

Anonymous said...

Our ad should have Michelle Obama walking around uptown looking for that great bbq she spoke of in the press release about the DNC coming here next year. and of course....brooklyn decker :)

Anonymous said...

I don't think Michelle Obama should be in anything concerning Charlotte.

Gizzard said...

I'm visualizing the Bojangle chicken getting out of Dale Jr's #88 at the Speedway and being greeted by Humpy Wheeler, with Bruton Smith behind him scowling.

Jim said...

I think having Julius Peppers driving a black hummer through the streets of Charlotte, past the major bank buildings, past Nascar Hall of Fame, past Bobcats Arena, pulling up to Bank of America Stadium, getting out, taking off his black leather jacket....wearing a Chicago Bears Jersey....would be pretty funny and sad....to think we received nothing in exchange. How sad. All goes back to Hurney/Richardson.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte: The City of Change!
You don't like the weather, just wait 5 minutes, it will change.
You don't like your neighbor, just wait 5 minutes, it will change.
You don't like the school your kids go to, just wait 5 minutes, it will change.
Don't like the name of the street you are driving, just wait 5 minutes, it will change. (without having to turn)
Don't like the restaurant on the corner near your house, just wait 5 minutes, it will change.
You don't like the fact that we are a small city that thinks that were big? Sorry, some things never change!

Anonymous said...

hoppeRemember the movie "Days of Thunder", when they showed a barn with the caption under it "Charlotte, NC". I remember how the city was in an uproar. The city has grow so much larger since then. They could open up with that barn and show how the city has grown since then.

Born and Raised said...

I love how all the implants come here and make snide remarks about my home and my people, yet you are here. That says something pretty compelling about the place you came from, yet you don't tell your story, only try to make a joke of ours. But we made our home, obviously, more desirable than yours. Let us here the story of where you came from. You, the implant, what is your story? What about you "home" is so undesirable that you are now here? Well, actually we already know the story. We already know why your life, your family and you home are crap. You were there. Unfortunately you are now here and this place will too, someday, "grow" into dump. Thank you. Welcome to the blue sky's of Carolina. Nice to have you here. Hope you enjoy your stay. We'll clean up after you're gone, and Y'all come back now ya here?

Anonymous said...

To the City of Change Person:
I have spent 6 years in NY (city), years in Newark, years in California, some in Florida. Plus I have traveled all over the world. This is a great city (#20 in size) and much has changed in the last 4 years. It is clean as the leaders have worked hard to make new housing in former run down locations. OK this is not NY. However, it does have much to offer. Move if you don't like it here to a bigger city as you have 19 to pick from.

Daniel Cameron said...

Michael Jordan voiceover, riding shotgun to Dale Jr driving #3 around town to the stadiums, bank headquarters,and Panther statues(?)
"100 years ago, people came here for the gold rush. Automobile racing and other competitive professional sports brought us through the new century. 100 years later, people came here for the largest banks in the world. Some say this city has no soul. I came to this city like everyone else has for over 100 years, because no matter how it gets done, Charlotte comes out a winner...and the spirit of victory is here today"
Earl Jr guns engine, laying rubber and smoke toward the mountains

NFL Schedule said...

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Super Bowl Commercials 2012

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