This is... different. To summarize, a new commercial by Chrysler is agitating for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's (a.k.a. Burma's) pro-democracy leader and lightning rod who has been under one form of house arrest or another for twenty years. The thirty-second spot was originally created to be part of sister-brand Lancia's sponsorship of the 10th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. Says Oliver Francis, the new President and CEO of Chrysler and Managing Director of Lancia:
"We produced the TV film in honor of all those who put their lives at stake in the hopes of making the world a better place. In particular, those men and women who are still prisoners, like Aung San Suu Kyi. For Chrysler, this is a chance to use our brand image to join with others in the fight for peace and to knock down the walls that divide us. We at Chrysler believe in doing the right thing and making a difference."The spot opens with a Chrysler 300 driving next to the some still-standing sections of the Berlin Wall. It then passes by a mural of Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela. We then see three Nobel Laureates getting out of the back of 300s: Muhammed Yunus, founder of the micro-lending Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, Polish union leader and president Lech Walesa and former leader of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev.
As to whether or not a car company should be advocating in favor of peace and democracy, all we'll say is we're glad Chrysler is not fighting against 'em. Be sure to check out the video and press release after the jump.
Chrysler Brand Joins Effort to Free 1991 Nobel Peace Laureate in New TV Film
- Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace Laureate, has been in and out of house arrest since 1989
- Film to break on brand's Web site and major news channels on Dec. 3
- New film demonstrates Chrysler brand's commitment to take on social causes
Auburn Hills, Mich., Dec 3, 2009 - In an innovative new TV film breaking today, the Chrysler brand has joined with Lancia Automobiles and the international community in the movement to call for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's pro-democracy leader and 1991 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, who has been in and out of house arrest since 1989.
The 30-second film was initially created as part of the Lancia brand's sponsorship of the 10th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Berlin Nov. 10-11, 2009, for which the theme was "Knocking down new walls and building bridges for a world without violence." The timing of the summit also coincided with the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The film first aired in Europe on Nov. 12.
The Nobel Peace organization has led the international effort to raise the awareness of Aung San Suu Kyi's plight and energize the movement for her release. Through the film, featuring the Chrysler 300, the Chrysler brand is demonstrating its commitment to supporting social issues and defending human rights around the world.
"We produced the TV film in honor of all those who put their lives at stake in the hopes of making the world a better place," said Oliver Francois, President and CEO – Chrysler Brand, Chrysler Group LLC, who is also the Managing Director of Lancia Automobiles. "In particular, those men and women who are still prisoners, like Aung San Suu Kyi. For Chrysler, this is a chance to use our brand image to join with others in the fight for peace and to knock down the walls that divide us. We at Chrysler believe in doing the right thing and making a difference."
The film opens at the Brandenburg Gate, a symbol of the reunification of the two sides of Berlin, and continues with images of the Berlin Wall, those sections that still exist, as a Chrysler 300 drives by on its way to the front of the city's Town Hall, host of the summit.
The voiceover, which continues throughout the film, says:
"It is possible to build walls that separate city from city, nation from nation, people from people.
But it is impossible to build a wall that separates man from his freedom...
Because freedom always finds a way to create peace.
This film is dedicated to Aung San Suu Kyi.
Still a prisoner behind a wall of silence."
As the 300 arrives at its destination, men and women, who are the symbols of peace and the struggle against all forms of oppression and violence, get out of the cars. Those featured include Mikhail Gorbachev, Executive President, Soviet Union, 1989-1991; Lech Walesa, President, Poland, 1990-1995; and Muhammed Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in 1983, who believes that credit is a fundamental human right.
As the music reaches its emotional crescendo, viewers see that one of the Chrysler 300s is different from the others – it is white. The vehicle comes to the Berlin Wall, a symbol to people around the world of liberty denied, then smashes through it, transforming the explosion into a flight of white doves, a universal symbol of peace.
The Chrysler 300 goes up the steps to the Town Hall, but as the car's rear door opens, the seat is empty. Someone is missing. It is Aung San Suu Kyi, who is still a prisoner in her own country.
The Chrysler film will initially break on the brand's Web site (www.chrysler.com) on Dec. 3 and will then air throughout the day on FOX News's "O'Reilly Report," "Hannity's America," and "On the Record with Greta," and on Bloomberg's "Market Today."
In addition, visitors to the Chrysler brand site will have the opportunity to join the movement to send a message of freedom and solidarity by linking to YourFaceForFreedom.com. Visitors will be able to replace their Facebook profile photo with that of Aung San Suu Kyi, which will be available for download from the site. Then on Dec. 10 when the Nobel Peace prize is awarded to Barack Obama, the Facebook media platform will showcase the faces of those calling for the immediate release of the Burmese leader.
About the Chrysler Brand
The Chrysler brand has delighted customers with distinctive designs, craftsmanship, intuitive innovation and technology – all at an extraordinary value – since the company was founded in 1926.
Whether it is the groundbreaking, bold design of the Chrysler 300, the sleek elegant styling of a Sebring Convertible, or the "family room on wheels" functionality of the Chrysler Town & Country, Chrysler brand vehicles reward the passion, creativity and sense of accomplishment of its owners. Beyond just exceptionally designed vehicles, the Chrysler brand has incorporated thoughtful features into all of its products, such as the Stow 'n Go® seating and storage system on the Chrysler Town & Country, the fuel-saving Multi-Displacement System (MDS) in the Chrysler 300 and Uconnect phone utilizing Bluetooth technology on the Chrysler Sebring and Chrysler Sebring Convertible. Both Sebring models also achieve 30-mpg highway fuel economy.
Chrysler celebrated the 25th anniversary of the minivan during the 2009 model year. With more than 65 segment-firsts introduced since 1983 and more than 12 million Dodge and Chrysler minivans sold, Chrysler Group LLC has solidified its leadership in the segment. The 2010 Chrysler Town & Country continues to set the mark in minivan value with more than 40 new or improved features from the previous generation, including unsurpassed 17 city / 25 highway mpg fuel economy. The 2010 Chrysler Town & Country is also the first minivan in the segment to feature the all-new Blind Film Monitoring and Rear Cross Path advance safety systems.
The Chrysler brand's succession of innovative product introductions continues to solidify the brand's standing as a leader in design, engineering and value. The premium for the Chrysler brand is in the product, not the price.