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October 11, 2006 11:10 AM   Subscribe

The only thing that could make this ad less tasteful is if they superimposed the caption "no more sitting at the back of the bus" when they show a picture of Rosa Parks.

How shit a product is this that you must wrap it in an American flag to sell it to Americans? Clearly it doesn't stand on its own merits.
posted by clevershark at 11:15 AM on October 11, 2006

XQ, the Colbert thing is unrelated.. that was just the only full length version I could find of the video.
posted by thirteenkiller at 11:16 AM on October 11, 2006

posted by thirteenkiller at 11:20 AM on October 11, 2006

Rosa Parks has been selling out a lot since she died.
posted by Plutor at 11:22 AM on October 11, 2006

Martin Luther King had a dream.

A dream of a gas-sucking V-8, four-wheel-drive, and a three-quarter-ton hauling capacity.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:23 AM on October 11, 2006 [1 favorite]

"D:" is a look of horror

posted by thirteenkiller at 11:23 AM on October 11, 2006

Well, if Rosa Parks wants me to buy a Chevy, then I'm buyin' a Chevy. It's the least I can do for her.
posted by languagehat at 11:25 AM on October 11, 2006

Rosa Parks is an ass!
posted by Mister_A at 11:26 AM on October 11, 2006

Rosa Parks jumped the shark.
posted by null terminated at 11:27 AM on October 11, 2006

I have no response to that ad, other than to give those responsible a nuclear-level wedgie yelling "WHAT THE FUCK IS THE MATTER WITH YOU??!?!?!?!?!?"
posted by illovich at 11:28 AM on October 11, 2006

Gee, who manufactured the bus she wasnt allowed in the front of??? HMM???
posted by ernie at 11:31 AM on October 11, 2006

It's our scars that shaped us. You know, if we hadn't been battle-hardened by 9-11, we wouldn't be making such powerful trucks.
posted by Citizen Premier at 11:32 AM on October 11, 2006

Oh, god how this commercial begs for a remix:

Next he sings, "And I can stand behind the idea to stand and fight," while we see soldiers in a field in Vietnam, helicopters chop-chopping above their heads.

Replace with the fall of Saigon clip of people hanging by their fingertips from the skids of the last chopper out, for example.

I'll bet we see remixes on YouTube within two days.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:33 AM on October 11, 2006

for the OP really really likes jacking off to car ads.

That may be true, but the OP also has a blog about cars, so it could, just maybe, just possibly have something to do with that.
posted by jefbla at 11:33 AM on October 11, 2006

Well, Gandhi wanted me to buy a Macintosh. How is this any different?
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:33 AM on October 11, 2006

Gandhi is in hell with the rest of the mud-people!
posted by Mister_A at 11:35 AM on October 11, 2006

Rosa Parks jumped the shark.

Back of the shark, Rosa.
posted by hermitosis at 11:36 AM on October 11, 2006 [4 favorites]

I'll bet we see remixes on YouTube within two days.

Here you go!
posted by thirteenkiller at 11:37 AM on October 11, 2006

Those trucks don't even have back seats!

From Plutors link:

This simple tribute [to rosa parks] had two effects on me: first, it caused me to do a bit of Googling to learn more about her, and second it made me reflect on the very real ways that Apple differs from other large companies.

posted by delmoi at 11:38 AM on October 11, 2006

If you did not know the definition of "crass", now you do.
posted by Cranberry at 11:40 AM on October 11, 2006

It's especially funny given their difficulties in the past with the UAW. The reason we're supposed to buy American is "for the workers" right? But GM screws the workers.

GM sucks ass, they're fucked. Ford on the other hand seems to be doing a lot better, and they have a much better relationship with UAW, from what I understand.
posted by delmoi at 11:43 AM on October 11, 2006

Whatever happened to "Mel Farr, Superstar, that's the place to buy your car!"
posted by evilcolonel at 11:44 AM on October 11, 2006 [1 favorite]

I wish I could afford a Japanese car.
posted by Mister_A at 11:45 AM on October 11, 2006

I'll bet we see remixes on YouTube within two days.

This is actually a week or two old.
posted by delmoi at 11:45 AM on October 11, 2006

About two weeks ago there was a story about this ad in the New York Times. I was going to link to it but I guess since it is just over the two week threshold I cannot. Unless someone else knows how to do that...
posted by pwb503 at 11:46 AM on October 11, 2006

This is actually a week or two old.

Yeah, I saw it on TV during a football game the weekend before last, iirc. I was just reminded of it today because they discused it on Day to Day.
posted by thirteenkiller at 11:46 AM on October 11, 2006

From a recent and pertinent NY Times article: Corporate America is also hoping to capitalize on Mrs. Parks’s aura, and CMG recently negotiated an estimated six-figure deal with General Motors on behalf of the Parks estate. . . . Whether Mrs. Parks would have participated in any of this — or even condoned it — is, of course, a moot question. “The great thing about dead celebrities is that they don’t show up and get in trouble any more,” said Jeff Lotman, the chief executive of Global Icons, a licensing agency in Los Angeles.
posted by brain_drain at 11:46 AM on October 11, 2006

I wish I could afford a Japanese car.

There's a significant difference in price?
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 11:48 AM on October 11, 2006

Rosa Parks is dead.

posted by WaterSprite at 11:50 AM on October 11, 2006

Oh my. I saw this during the Tigers game this weekend and thought it was a joke. Amazing.
posted by dame at 11:50 AM on October 11, 2006

Ya the Japanese ones are a lot more. I am talking about the used car market BTW. You can get a 1986 Buick Century, light blue 4-cyl. 4-door with 100k miles and up-to-date inspection for $500. (Ask me how I know!).

You can't (or at least I can't) get an older civic/corolla with similar mileage for anything like $500, unless it needs tons of work. Honda and Toyota really hold their value compared wiht American iron. The same holds true for the newer models - compare prices on a 2000 Taurus, for instance with a 2000 Accord - it's stunning.

The kicker is, the Taurus and the Accord were fairly close in price when sold new. If you bought a new Taurus you took a bath on the depreciation, on account of it is a shitty fucking car.

All of which leads to the inevitable Rosa Parks Chevy commercial. Still boggled by the Viet Nam thing tho - first, we did not "stand and fight", we pulled out in a huff. Second, who thinks Viet Nam was a good idea?
posted by Mister_A at 11:57 AM on October 11, 2006

I saw this during the Tigers game this weekend and thought it was a joke.

considering the context, that's understandable ... better luck next year, suckers!
posted by pyramid termite at 11:58 AM on October 11, 2006

I saw this during a Tigers-Yankees ALDS game and first thought was "is this supposed to be a song that We Americans identify with because it is Johnny Cougar taking the Bob Seger role?" and then I saw the Rosa Parks & MLK and Katrina and thought, damn Campbell-Ewald, don't you know you can't sell no cars using misery and repression as your hook? But I've known people who work for the auto-ad shops and by and large they are a group of mouth breathing dullards.

And, no delmoi, Fords ain't doin' so pretty good right now either. They all suckin wind. It is hilarious to me that most of America had no idea that the Dr. Z in the Daimler Chrysler commercials really is the CEO of D-C. Of course, maybe that bodes well for Chevy. A nation of idiots just might buy that crap.

In my opinnion, Rosa Parks sold out years ago. But I have no problem with her exploiting the system for whatever she could get.
posted by beelzbubba at 12:07 PM on October 11, 2006

The real message of this commercial? "We could have spent millions improving the design of our truck to make it safer and less gas-guzzling. We could have spent the money on plastics that didn't feel cheap and nasty to the touch and don't even fit properly in the first place. But we didn't. Instead of spending money to make a better product, we spent it making this commercial that has nothing to do with trucks. Now cough up the dough, suckers!"
posted by clevershark at 12:10 PM on October 11, 2006

Coming Soon: Simon Wiesenthal Ford Explorer ad
posted by matteo at 12:12 PM on October 11, 2006

This raised a few hackles while we watched ballgames on Fox last week. I figured that it had obviously passed a focus group, because commercial time during postseason baseball must be very expensive. There are people who saw this commercial and said, "hell yeah I want a Chevy!"

Then I laughed. Because really, if images of Vietnam and Rosa Parks and the WTC death rays make you want to buy a truck, you have got to have some serious, serious confusion about the meanings of those things.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:14 PM on October 11, 2006

I look forward to hearing this anthem for the next ten years so it can finally drive out "Like A Rock" from my head.

Guess the checks have already stopped. I see Bob Seger is going on tour shortly for the first time in 10 years.

So, on the bright side, maybe Johnny Cougar will stay home for a decade.
posted by hal9k at 12:16 PM on October 11, 2006

Jesus, that's the most tasteless thing I've seen in a long time.

I always wonder, upon watching ill-advised movies, commercials, television programs, etc., if there was at least someone in the production team who raised his/her hand and said, 'hey, wait a minute guys...' It's just too depressing to think that everyone involved in the making of this ad thought it was a slam-bang great idea.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 12:17 PM on October 11, 2006

posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:47 PM on October 11, 2006

i think the ad is honest in that the casual treatment given the heavy subject matter is pretty much how the media culture processes these events now...what strikes me is how the ad is designed to appeal to so many different and even conflicting viewpoints simultaneously...at least for those who would engage with the commerical without meta-critiquing it...for instance, those who see continuing racial injustice are validated (katrina), but then so are those who see racial injustice as historical and resolved (parks, mlk)...the ad offers maximum opportunity for the viewer to have an emotional reaction with a minimum of viewpoint or context, allowing the casual viewer to feel comfortable that his or her own point of view is reflected...it's a safe bet in a culture that is at least reported to be split down the middle...

...but also, the treatment of the material might have intentionally invited this kind of uproar over what they did with it...it is being discussed...and the people who have a negative reaction to it are the same ones who wouldn't really respond to the whole flag-waving thing they usually do anyway...so on another level, considering that a particular brand of flag-waver will view criticism of flag-waving as unpatriotic and will thus buy a bigger flag, criticism of this ad could be seen by some as a criticism of the images themselves, or of patriotism...i mean, really, i'm waiting for drudge to link to some columnist talking about how us unpatriotic liberals are criticizing it...
posted by troybob at 1:04 PM on October 11, 2006

Someone might make the argument that American car companies are largely responsible for 9/11 and Katrina.

Someone might.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:05 PM on October 11, 2006

damn. i used to like JCM, what with Farm Aid and Scarecrow, but this is just sad.

and what's up with Muhammad Ali and the Vietnam War, synced with the lyrics, "I can stand beside, the idea to stand and fight"? WTF?!?!?

Muhammad Ali was sentenced to five years in prison because he wouldn't fight in Vietnam. Selective amnesia at best, revisionist history at worst.

"War is against the teachings of the Holy Qur'an. I'm not trying to dodge the draft. We are supposed to take part in no wars unless declared by Allah or The Messenger. We don't take part in Christian wars or wars of any unbelievers."

How many Americans know Muhammad Ali said that?
posted by mrgrimm at 1:10 PM on October 11, 2006

All these comments and no...

Pepsi Black.
posted by GuyZero at 1:24 PM on October 11, 2006

How many Americans know Muhammad Ali said that?

Or, for that matter, that he said this: "They want me to go to Vietnam to shoot some black folks that never lynched me, never called me nigger, never assassinated my leaders."

Man, GM's just some kinda desperate these days, isn't it?
posted by gompa at 1:45 PM on October 11, 2006

If you want to sit in the actual bus that Rosa Parks made her stand (uh, sit) in, it is now owned by the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. I was there a couple months ago and unknowingly sat right in the seat that she did. We listened to a recording of what she had to say about the incident and it was very touching. Then I got pissed off at Ford and capitalism and all that.
posted by bobobox at 1:48 PM on October 11, 2006

I think that a vaguely Orwellian, yet strangely appealing voice intoning 'This is our country' should be mandatory for all TV ads.
posted by Football Bat at 2:22 PM on October 11, 2006 [1 favorite]

Rosa Parks wants you to buy a Chevy!

No, she wants me to shut up and drive the damn bus. Straight to the cemetery, where she wants me to dig up her coffin and make the beast with two backbones.
posted by CynicalKnight at 3:37 PM on October 11, 2006

what a crap ad. they should be ashamed.
posted by cell divide at 3:57 PM on October 11, 2006

>I have no response to that ad, other than to give those responsible a nuclear-level wedgie

Originally, there was a clip of a mushroom cloud in the commercial. I shit you not. Jalopnik saw a preview back in September.

I saw the commercial during a baseball game, too, and it made me ill. I can't believe ANYONE thought this was a good idea.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:53 PM on October 11, 2006

Ok, I'm going to have to ask the embarassing question:

What are those two pillars of light where the WTC was?
posted by Bugbread at 5:04 PM on October 11, 2006

ick. i'm totally opposed to this whole concept of families inheriting copyrights. people's images should never be used without their permission. the families who exploit them are even more disgusting. corporations... well, don't even get me started.
posted by PigAlien at 5:06 PM on October 11, 2006

What are those two pillars of light where the WTC was?

Tribute in Light.
posted by brain_drain at 5:15 PM on October 11, 2006

brain_drain : "Tribute in Light."

Huh. Wow, didn't know anything about that. Looks kinda nice.
posted by Bugbread at 5:25 PM on October 11, 2006

The first three words of Jalopnik's title sum this ad up so perfectly, no further comment is necessary.

One way or another, this campaign is going down in ad history.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 10:55 PM on October 11, 2006

This is my (very different) interpretation:

Americana. Rosa Parks {civil rights, black innovator}
Muhammed Ali {black man, lost title for anti-Vietnam war stance as Muslim}
Vietnam War {a mess in everyone's book}
MLK {black man killed for political power}
Peace rallies
Nixon's wave-off as he left office after resigning {failed president}
Moon landing {what is possible with optimism}
'From the east coast' {okay, fishing…}
'To the west coast' {fire, natural disaster}
Storm blowing roof off (hurricane)
Flooded New Orleans {specific hurricane Katrina, failure of government}
Chevy trucks bringing supplies {buy Chevy}
House rebuilding {individuals rebuild when government won't}
Twin tower lights {powerful image, but 'hole in ground' = government failure}

This is an anti-Bush ad!
The world has changed since the Vietnam war:
the Pentagon is undercutting the president's war,
while the churches, which were so powerful in the peace movement then,
are now the power behind this president.
And Chevy is saying:
You have the power to do what government will not.
Note- there were no images of Iraq, which is the single largest issue in America today.
Showing Vietnam, and not Iraq, is a pointed absence.
posted by dragonsi55 at 4:12 AM on October 12, 2006

What ever happened to shame? Anyone remember it? I think it was outsourced during the Reagan administration and hasn't been manufactured in America since.
posted by any major dude at 5:13 AM on October 12, 2006

PT: I am not a Yankees fan. My boy is from Michigan, so you can guess who we were rooting for (though I'd rather anyone take out the Yanks.)
posted by dame at 7:45 AM on October 12, 2006

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