The Chrysler Ad: Frame by Frame

Updated 6 April

By now, you’ve probably read the press and followed the buzz on Chrysler’s two-minute epic advert during the Super Bowl.  I was one of the tens of millions of viewers that caught a glimpse during the broadcast, and one of a few hundred thousand that got a slight lump in my throat.

But many viewers, including my Detroit-living self, weren’t completely aware of everything they were actually seeing during the spot.  So, I figured I’d break it down frame-by-frame and offer some commentary, links, and background on all of the glorious bits of the D being showcased here.

(Note: I’ll continue to update the list until it’s complete; if you have insight on some of the empty timeslots, please let me know (either via comment or twitter) and I’ll include it.)

0:03 — Interstate 75 North, mile marker 39, near the Detroit suburbs of Lincoln Park and Allen Park.

0:04-0:09 — I believe we’re seeing the Marathon Oil Company — or Detroit Salt — plant at Fort Street and I-75 near River Rouge. The sign for “J.L. Lasser Crane Company” was actually digitally altered — J.J. Curran Crane Company actually exists.

0:10-0:11 — Clearly on a northbound trend here: I-75 North, mile marker 44, just having crossed over the bridge past River Rouge.

0:12-0:13 — Unknown. Speculating that it’s somewhere near Wayne State’s campus because of the radio tower in the reflection of the window panes.

0:14-0:15 — The old Detroit Edison plant on Willis Avenue in Midtown.

0:16-0:17 — Unknown.

0:17-0:19 — Detroiters know this well.  It’s the old flagpole from Tiger Stadium at Michigan and Trumbull in Corktown.

0:20-0:22 — Campus Martius Park in Downtown Detroit.  The modern-looking building in the background is the Compuware Building.

0:23-0:25 — Unknown, but I *think* they’re heading toward the Wayne County Building on Randolph Street, Downtown Detroit.

0:26 — Unknown. Somewhere in the vicinity of the People Mover.

0:27-0:32 — Monument to Joe Louis, located at Jefferson and Woodward, near Hart Plaza in Downtown Detroit.

0:33-0:35 — Diego Rivera’s famous fresco, Detroit Industry, found at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Midtown.

0:36-0:37 — Unknown.

0:38-0:41 — The Penobscot Building near Campus Martius.  At the time of its completion (1928) until 1977, it was the tallest building in the city. (Thanks, Russ Hickson!)

0:44-0:46 — Marshall Fredericks’ Spirit of Detroit, Woodward Avenue, Downtown Detroit.

0:47 — Eminem’s bling. (Any coincidence to the fact that the previous clip was of a sculpture designed by a guy named Marshall?)

0:48-0:49 — St. Josaphat Church at I-75 and Warren.

0:50-0:51 — Unknown.

0:52-0:53 — Unknown. I’ve been looking all over the internets, trying to figure out which Detroit-area high school has the Fighting Aces as a mascot.  Thoughts?

0:54-0:58. Yep, that’s Metro Detroit’s very own Alissa Czisny, US National Champion figure skater, showing off her stuff at Campus Martius Park in Downtown Detroit.

1:00-1:01 — Unknown. Possibly on Woodward by the Shops at Kresge?

1:02 — Looks like that dude’s crossing at Congress and Woodward in Downtown Detroit.

1:03-1:05 — On the bridge to Belle Isle.

1:08-1:09 — Unknown.

1:10 — Unknown.

1:19-1:20 — Unknown.

1:22-End — Fox Theatre, Foxtown.  An icon of the city, a staple of the Motown movement.  The choir selected for the commercial is the “Selected of God” repertoire; they apparently were selected in a nationwide competition.


For those that claim Detroit is a city devoid of character, look no further than the twenty-eight incredibly diverse venues listed here.  From this, fires that create steel were borne.


9 Responses to The Chrysler Ad: Frame by Frame

  1. Joe says:

    Yes, who are the Fighting Aces? I have been looking as well for who they are. Any updates?

  2. Russ Hickson says:

    0:38-0:41 is The Penobscot Building

  3. rob baylis says:

    I too have been looking for The Fighting Aces.

    Fantastic breakdown of the commercial. Thanks for being dedicated to Detroit! I will visit the site often.


  4. lawrence says:

    there are no fighting aces, the shirts say ford field and they are a take on the lions, since FORD field is where they play chances are..they rep the lions, as no team uses the Honolulu blue color but the lions, the church is St. Josaphats Catholic church in Detroit just off of 75 and Warren

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