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Chrysler 300 in political spot - click above to watch the video

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.

[Source: Chrysler]


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.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      >> "We at Chrysler believe in doing the right thing and making a difference."

      You made a difference alright. I just lost my lunch.
        • 5 Years Ago
        How about Chrysler start making a difference in the quality and desirability of of their product?

        That'd be something real to advocate for.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I can not effing believe they put that on the air. This kind of blind "me too" support for a cause, with the sole purpose of burnishing their business, is the epitome of "crass."

        I support this woman's plight but, honestly, F--- Chrysler. I've never hated a car company as much as I do today.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Francois said it was "one-time execution," that did not represent "Chrysler 'hiring' the agency" and said it was wrong to portray using the ad as an affront to U.S. taxpayers.

        "In fact neither the agency nor the leadership of Nobel, nor the other Nobel Prize winners in the film, charged us even a penny for it," Francois said. "The only costs were actually spent here in the U.S., to two companies to coordinate and manage the trafficking of this film."

        "Hopefully we can enjoy the freedom of having your readers in a democratic society decide for themselves if they should be upset, or whether we instead exercised fiscal responsibility in producing this important film," he added.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Hipsters wouldn't be caught dead in BMWs. They rock fixies. Shows how much you know.
        • 5 Years Ago
        check out the ads where Lancia and Fiat send just the same message.

        there has to be some relation to it now that chrysler was partially bought by fiat.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Y

        I think I found your hipster. Turns out he's the guy quoted in the release, who was parachuted in from Lancia. Well, actually, he still has the Lancia job. Which means Chrysler is a part-time thing for him.


        It seems to be working for him.

        • 5 Years Ago

        Knee jerk reaction? Whatever Chrysler does you just can't like it. I guess the brand isn't fancy enough for you BMW driving hipster
      Dan Airozo
      • 6 Months Ago

      Very good commercial...liked seeing Lech Walesa and Gorbachev again.  I hope the "house arrested president of Burma" got her white Chrysler 300 after all.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Automakers shouldn't be joining causes like this. Any time a company advocates this or that cause, it's because they want us to think a certain way about the company, not the cause. Unless, of course, it's a cause that has something to to with the auto industry or motoring.

      Despite being a mopar fan, what gets me irked is the fact that it's hard to believe they're really sincere about this. I'd respect them more if they advocated a cause like drilling for more oil in Alaska. At least they would be honest about their intentions.

      If they really want me to think that they care, they should start by doing some outreach to the struggling families in their own backyard, the city of Detroit, rather than getting people to worry about a person on the other side of the globe. If they don't even care about the people in Michigan, then how can I be convinced that they care about the people in Myanmar?
      • 5 Years Ago
      The biggest thing about these new ads is that they get people talking. I think they are well done. Important historic figures who ride in Chryslers and believe in piece. Do we need another CEO walking around a design room extolling products?

      Chrysler has no product right now. It was gang raped for the last few years.
        • 5 Years Ago
        completely right!
        The purpose of some ads is to let people speak of that car or in anycase to speak of the ad, or at least to think for a few seconds about its message.
        Since we are here leaving a huge amount of comments about this ad, it means that in some way it worked!
        More deeply, it remains in your brain more longer than any other ads.
        Not all the ads are made for showing you just the car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A fleet of pink ones for breast cancer and a fleet of brown ones for prostate cancer
      • 5 Years Ago
      Gorbachev was (is?) a communist. How exactly does that promote peace and democracy?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Mach and J Smith, I see you disagree with my argument, but even so, there is no reason to be insulting.

        "Gorbachev dismantled Communism in the USSR...."
        "The Cold War ended because Gorbachev, Reagan and Bush I trusted each other and entered into a partnership for peace..."

        Uh, when exactly did you guys graduate from school, because your history books sure are different than the ones I read. Revisionist history (mostly writted by liberals) for some reason has given Gorbachev credit for what Reagan did. The famous quote wasn't, "Mr. Reagan, I'm tearing down this wall because I wan't to build a relationship of peace and trust with the U.S."

        Do you REALLY believe that Gorbachev wasn't a true communist who presided over it's failure because he couldn't stop it? He only "cooperated" (arms treaties, elections, etc.) in the end because his country was in ruins. He had NO CHOICE but to make nice with us.

        It's amazing how history evolves so quickly. I don't blame you guys, lots of people are starting to say what you guys are arguing.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Gorbachev's reforms included the first free elections in the USSR since 1917, the 1989 elections to the Congress of People's Deputies. These elections were more free than the ones that have taken place in the Putin era. The fall of authoritarian regimes in eastern Europe would not have been possible without his repudiation of the Brezhnev Doctrine (not that you know what that term means without googling it). The Cold War ended because Gorbachev, Reagan and Bush I trusted each other and entered into a partnership for peace, reduced nuclear arms and decreased military tensions. So, instead of a declining-but-hostile military superpower with a gazillion nukes, we have a Russia that we can sort of work with. And that is hardly a military superpower.

        Just a guess--the University of Utah ain't exactly kosher about you informing the world of your alumni status, is it?
        • 5 Years Ago
        From Wikipedia: "...Gorbachev's political initiatives were positive for freedom and democracy in the Soviet Union and its Eastern bloc allies..."
        • 5 Years Ago
        Despite what Wikepedia says, communism was not "positive for freedom and democracy" anywhere, especially in the Soviet Union and it's eastern bloc.
        • 5 Years Ago

        For the complete moron who asked the question (what exactly did they teach you about History in high-school???), I bet a USSR native had a better education than that!!

        Gorbachev dismantled Communism in the USSR and opened the door to democratic elections and capitalism. He essentially lifted the world's largest nation out of the smaller and saves countless lives in the process.

        • 5 Years Ago
        As Lech Walesa said once: He promoted democracy by failing being communist... His bad administration led to the fall of URSS.
      • 5 Years Ago
      At least it is getting Chrysler publicity.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Can we trade Barrack "Warmonger" Obama for Aung San Suu Kyi? The former clearly doesn't deserve the Prize.
        • 5 Years Ago

        "Can we trade Barrack "Warmonger" Obama for Aung San Suu Kyi? The former clearly doesn't deserve the Prize."

        How exactly is Barack Obama a war monger? Did you already forget the the Afghanistan was and the Iraq fiasco was started by Republican GW Bush? Did you really forget that??
      • 5 Years Ago
      To all the nay sayers, of course Chrysler should concentrate on making good cars, and that's what they are doing at the moment, they are planning cars which will be built in 2 years.
      Unfortunately FIAT cannot make miracles, it takes years to design and build a new car and when FIAT took over this summer, Chrysler had only 2 cars planned for the next couple of years, the new Grand Cherokee and the new 300C.

      So while Chrysler is at work trying to deliver the 14 brand new models they promised, planned for 2002, marketing is the only thing that can improve at the moment.
      And if marketing is useless against the experts, it is very effective on the masses.

      Chrysler is starting to promote its brand as an upmarket car maker with a conscience.
      If it works or not, we will see it when the new models finally arrive, but the marketing is preparing the field for when that time will come.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "And if marketing is useless against the experts, it is very effective on the masses"

        But they are not targeting the masses(you said it yourself). They are taking the same route that Newsweek took earlier on this year when it rebranded itself: a smaller, more "evolved" consumer who is socially conscious, most of the time tend to be politically liberal. So, for Chrysler it's a smaller, more specific demographic with known likes, tastes, and purchasing habits.

        But I somewhat agree on the marketing bit. They market "peace" because they don't have the "quality" products to stand behind a marketing effort where "quality" is centerpiece.
      JDM Life
      • 5 Years Ago
      300c has a distinct front end that's for sure...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Two thumbs up for Chrysler.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, "whoopee for crassness". Chrysler has no business suddenly jumping onto this bandwagon. Anyone with an ounce of media literacy can see this isn't because they support the cause at all but because they want our heartstrings to feel for their brand.

        Shame, I say.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Lancia's homepage has featured Amnesty Intl.'s video for a while now. Chrysler is not breaking new ground here. It's Fiat, obviously.
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