Eastwood, America and ads that sell… but what?

By Jeff Jones (2.7.2012)

Two minutes of sobriety may have been the real surprise winner on a Super Bowl Sunday that was otherwise exactly what we have come to expect: a glitzy half-time show and lots of sillycheeky ads. Then, just as the nation settled in for an exciting second half of football, it suddenly paused and held its collective breath.
If you haven’t seen the “Halftime in America” ad from Chrysler (aka the Clint Eastwood ad), take a moment to watch it below. It’s been the most talked-about commercial of the game. But most of the Monday morning quarterbacking has focused on unraveling some hidden political agenda.
My interest is different. Unlike most Super Bowl commercials,  this one seemed to try to capture a particular moment in America – something we’ve been calling “the American now.” But does it succeed? And if so, why? I put those questions to 40 sources from the Public Insight Network who list “advertising” as an expertise. Here’s some of what we heard…

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