Car Industry

FCA's 2019 'Big Game Blitz' tries to buttonhook the Super Bowl

In that most American tradition of "More is better," Fiat Chrysler gave us six ads this year, none of which will air during the big game.

Obviously it's expensive to advertise during the Super Bowl, so perhaps it's in the spirit of saving some cash that Fiat Chrysler has decided to launch a barrage of ads that won't air during the big game. It's presumably still hoping that these spots will ride the game's coattails all the way to a sales bump.

FCA's buttonhook maneuver started on Monday with three videos: Devil Went Down to Georgia, Crusher and Can't Remember. None of them is especially groundbreaking, but at least the Devil Went Down to Georgia spot had a trio of sweet drifting Hellcats. Crusher smashed an old Gladiator pickup into a new Gladiator pickup and Can't Remember is just two middle-aged ranch worker types muttering about old ads.

Next, on Thursday, FCA dropped a slightly longer-form video on us that it called More Than Just Words, which featured a musical group called OneRepublic -- which I immediately assumed was some weird, jingoistic 'Merican take on One Direction. OneRepublic plays a version of the Star Spangled Banner (because of course they do) and we get bombarded with images of Americana and kids high-fiving.

Probably the heaviest hitter in the "Get 'em right in the feels" category this year is Make Sure Of It, which is narrated by and stars Jeremy Renner and an adorable little girl. It's maybe the most woke FCA commercial we've seen ever and this one would have probably killed it if it had aired during the game.

On Friday, FCA dropped the last (we think) of its "Big Game Blitz" videos: Roll Rams Roll and 4th Quarter Fight. Roll Rams Roll is a cheaply animated spot that features a stampeding herd of sheep -- not even one of which looks like Black Phillip, mind you -- stomping across the country to Atlanta. It feels like an afterthought and doesn't really go with the rest of the spots.

Finally, 4th Quarter Fight arguably feels the most like the kind of FCA ads we've seen over the last few years. It's no Imported From Detroit, but it does the whole American exceptionalism thing pretty well. It's one of the more successful of the seven ads we've seen so far in terms of storytelling, but it does leave us wondering if maybe FCA wouldn't have been better served by doing just one really good commercial instead.