Chrysler ‘Road 2 Greatness’ Leverages ’13 MLB Playoffs

Chrysler’s new ‘Road To Greatness’ campaign, fronted by Detroit Tigers star Miguel Cabrera and leveraging the Major League Baseball (MLB) Playoffs, focuses on the theme of hard work and commitment.


Drawing parallels between working towards becoming one of the sport’s greatest players and building one of the world’s greatest cars (the Chrysler 300 and Town & Country), the campaign’s message is stark and simple – there are no shortcuts.


Led by an anthemic TV commercial (which comes in 30- and 60-second versions) starring third-baseman and last year’s Triple Crown and AL MVP winner Cabrera, the campaign rolled out in October as the slugger’s Detriot Tigers side were locked in a thrilling American League Championship Series with the Boston Red Sox.


According to Chrysler, the campaign aims to illustrate the journey young baseball players must take if they aspire to greatness on the field and portrays this by paralleling Cabrera’s own hard work and dedication as he refines and perfects his craft.


Both voiceover and tagline drive home the point: ‘The road to greatness is the same for everyone. No rest stops. No fast lanes. And definitely no shortcuts’.


This is reflected in baseball-related imagery and footage from Cabrera’s life – from his childhood growing up in Venezuela, to hitting homers in the big league.



The TV work ends with the brand’s ongoing ‘Imported from Detroit’ tagline and it features a new #NoShortCuts hashtag as the gateway to the social side of the initiative.


The campaign is part of an ad blitz for the automaker for the MLB playoffs and continues its Detriot-led marketing approach.


Indeed, Chrysler says the campaign is a ‘continuation of the narrative around Detroit and its hometown heroes, who have always been a catalyst for change and had a profound impact on American culture.’


Indeed, the vehicle manufacturer has a lengthy heritage of leveraging sports events through celebrity-fronted Detroit stories: in its 2011 Super Bowl spot there was Eminem,



and while its much discussed 2012 Big Game Half Time commercial starred Clint Eastwood (not a Detroit native),



earlier in 2013 the auto brand built marketing campaigns around Detroit celebrities Iggy Pop and John Varvatos.



and Motown founder Berry Gordy (in a spot that also combined activation for its partnership with ‘Motown: The Musical’.



The latest ad initially debuted during the American League and National League championship series and will continue through the World Series itself.


It has been 30 years since Motor City’s baseball team last one the World Series and the car brand (and its agency Doner Detriot) must have had their fingers crossed that the Tigers would make it to the main event so it could generate greater impact.


Sadly for Cabrera, Tigers fans and Chrysler, it was Boston who made it through to the World Series.




Chrysler has established an impressive track record for focusing its creative on blue collar values and traditional Americana, with messages about commitment, hard work and determination.


‘Cabrera reminds viewers that even if you’re heralded as the best pure hitter of your generation, you can never be complacent in your pursuit of perfection,’ says Chrysler’s Chief Marketing Officer Olivier Francois as he outlines the campaign.


A touch heavy-handed perhaps, but the link from hard working American blue collar brands to determined little leaguers working over home plate, the creative looks set to resonate with MLB fans captured in post-season playoff excitement and Americans working hard to pull out of the recession.


Certainly its 50,000 YouTube views to date suggest a solid level of consumer interest.


Despite GM’s Chevrolet brand being the official MLB auto partner, it is Chrysler that seems to have grabbed the highest profile leveraging this year’s playoffs with this ambush campaign.


Interestingly, both car brands (plus Ford) all have had partnerships with Detriot’s baseball team in the past too.


Indeed rival Chevrolet will pick up its activity levels during the World Series itself.


Chevrolet is the presenting sponsor of the World Series MVP award and its associated campaign includes offering a ‘14 Silverado High Country’ as a winner’s prize, plus a baseball field makeover in the winner’s hometown.


The auto brand is also the naming partner of the ‘Strong Arm Player of the Game” award for each World Series game on Fox, plus it has space on a 20 x 30 LED board outside the St Louis Cardinals’ Busch Stadium on which fans can play virtual home run derby.




Chrysler ‘Road To Greatness’ TV Ad



Chrysler Website



Chrysler ‘Road To Greatness’ Campaign Hashtag



Major League Baseball Website



Detroit Tigers Website



Miguel Cabrera Foundation Website






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