Halftime in America
|"Halftime in America"|
|Directed by||David Gordon Green|
|Written by||Matthew Dickman|
|Running time||2 minutes 0 seconds|
Halftime in America (alternately, It's Halftime in America) is an American television commercial aired in February, 2012 during halftime of Super Bowl XLVI. Produced by Portland, Oregon based advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy for Chrysler, It features Clint Eastwood speaking, and narrating, an account of the American automobile industry rebounding after the Late-2000s recession, as pictures of American workers appear onscreen.
The advertisement, described as "grim" in tone, is a two-minute montage of video scenes showing "ordinary Americans", at first despairing, then in solidarity with another, and finally hopeful. It closes with a close-up of Eastwood's face, and then the “Imported from Detroit" logo first introduced in Chrysler's 2011 Super Bowl advertisement.
The script of this ad was prepared by Kevin Jones, Smith Henderson and Matthew Dickman. It is as follows:
It's halftime. Both teams are in their locker room discussing what they can do to win this game in the second half. It's halftime in America, too. People are out of work and they're hurting. And they're all wondering what they're going to do to make a comeback. And we're all scared, because this isn't a game.
The people of Detroit know a little something about this. They almost lost everything. But we all pulled together, now Motor City is fighting again. I've seen a lot of tough eras, a lot of downturns in my life. And, times when we didn't understand each other. It seems like we've lost our heart at times. When the fog of division, discord, and blame made it hard to see what lies ahead. But after those trials, we all rallied around what was right, and acted as one. Because that's what we do. We find a way through tough times, and if we can't find a way, then we'll make one.
All that matters now is what's ahead. How do we come from behind? How do we come together? And, how do we win? Detroit's showing us it can be done. And, what's true about them is true about all of us. This country can't be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again and when we do the world is going to hear the roar of our engines. Yeah, it's halftime America. And, our second half is about to begin.
 Public reaction
Some American conservatives criticized the commercial as an endorsement of the United States automotive bailout of 2008 and 2009, particularly Karl Rove, who said he was "offended" by it. Commentators noted that Eastwood is a Republican Party member, and was opposed to the automotive bailout.
Additional discussion focused on a scene in the commercial that was taken at a protest in Wisconsin, however for the commercial, video frames were digitally edited to remove the pro-union, pro-public education messages on the picket signs, while narrator Clint Eastwood's “gravely voice intones ‘the fog, division, discord, and blame made it hard to see what lies ahead.’”
In the original video covering the 2011 Wisconsin protests by Madison photographer Matt Wisniewski, a short scene (at the 2:17 mark) from an evening rally at the Wisconsin Capitol features images of signs held by members of Madison Teachers Inc. (MTI), a local education union that was highly visible in the protests. After Chrysler's ad agency edited the footage for the commercial, the signs with messages such as "Care about educators like they care for your child"; "Solidarity!"; and "Stop the attack on public education" had been replaced with out of context messages that would disguise the identity of the movement to which this protest belonged.
- Super Bowl Ad - official page
- Marinucci, Carla (February 10, 2012). "Eastwood 'halftime in America' ad inspires debate". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Corliss, Richard (February 7, 2012). "Clint's Chrysler Ad: From the Director of Pineapple Express". Time Magazine.
- "Halftime in America' ad creates political debate". Associated Press. February 6, 2012.
- Nichols, John (2012) "Chrysler Super Bowl Ad Edits Out Wisconsin Union Signs." The Nation, February 6, 2012 http://www.thenation.com/blog/166082/chrysler-super-bowl-ad-features-wisconsin-union-rally-edits-out-union-signs
- Shaw, Michael (2012) “Reading the Pictures: The Clint Eastwood Chrysler ‘Halftime in America’ Controversy, and the Doctored Wisconsin Footage.” The Huffington Post, February 7, 2012. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-shaw/chrysler-superbowl-ad_b_1260740.html