When Chrysler wanted to use an Eminem song in its 2011 Super Bowl ad, the company's Chief Marketing Officer Olivier François took it upon himself to convince the elusive rapper. In the end, the Chrysler not only ended up with the song, but François had persuaded the performer himself to appear in the spot.
In Chrysler's follow-up Super Bowl commercial earlier this year, Clint Eastwood made a rare pitch and a star-turn with the Halftime in America ad. Again, it was François who proved convincing enough to get Eastwood to sign on to the project.

It's just that kind of hands-on creative spark that has caused Adweek to award François with its 2012 Brand Genius Award.

Imported from Detroit came from a speech given by François at the Los Angeles Auto Show. "That started as kind of a joke, but then we thought it would be a very good marketing brief, not just a line," François told Adweek.

The magazine gives at least partial credit to François, as well, for Chrysler's sales climbing 30 straight months since he joined the company in 2009.

"We wanted to not only put Chrysler on the map – we wanted to remind everyone that this is a country like no other, a country that can be proud of building quality products," François said.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm not sure it qualifies as "brand Genius" isn't that just doing his job..? Its really not rocket science.. hire celebrity to endorse your sub standard automotive brand..
        • 2 Years Ago
        I don't think there is any other marketing campaign that has been as successful and spoken about, that's either the eminem spot or the clint eastwood, and together in consecutive years is very significant. Add to that the constantly increasing sales means that something is working right. For instance, after the eminem spot, the chrysler 200 was the highest selling mid-sized car in California, which for an updated sebring in a market that usually chooses imports, marketing has a lot to do with it. Of course it's his job, and the award is for people who excel at that particular job.
      • 2 Years Ago
      It takes great marketing to sell a car that Car and Driver stated went from "terrible to tolerable". Way to shoot for the middle.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is there some kind of law that all auto execs get a bad hair weave?
      • 2 Years Ago
      this 'genious' also killed Lancia well and good. He placed all his cards on the Chrysler ticket - that's what Chrysler needed, but he utterly destroyed Lancia in the process by his ridiculous twinning with Chrysler and promoting Lancia as a frilly, fashion-driven brand choosing to utterly ignore and bury the Italian brand's USPs of innovation, elegance, sporting heritage, top class engineering and speed. Shame on him!
        • 2 Years Ago
        Uh unfortunately you're mistaken. You're thinking of Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne. Totally different guy.