The Chrysler Ad: Frame by Frame

10 February, 2011

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.


WEDNESDAY LINK-FEST: Hotels, Parking Lots, and Incinerators — OH MY.

6 October, 2010

Hello friends!  It’s a beautiful day in the D!

I’m used to vomiting a bunch of links onto my facebook that I find during the day, but in an effort to mimic KFC’s Famous Bowls and create a gray, mountainous hillock of goodness, I’ll keep ’em all here.  So, here’s what we’ve got on the docket for today:

–  Hooray!  Corktown has a new parking lot.  The heavens rejoice. (Source: Model D Media)

– From The Detroit News comes this discussion on downtown hotel occupancy.  My personal fave, the Westin Book Cadillac, seems to be emerging from a record low occupancy rate in 2008, but others (such as the Omni Riverfront) are facing the axe.

– The days of taking Detroit’s trash and burnin’ it may soon be over, but what will replace the steam supply?  My vote: put a nozzle on Monica Conyers and let her start talking.  That should do the trick. (Source: Crain’s Detroit)

– Hooray!  Detroit has a Taco Truck!  You can follow Jacques’ Tacos on Twitter as well.

– The jury is hung on Detroit 1-8-7.  Local reviewers seem to think ABC’s homegrown crime drama is finally getting it right, while national pundits are a bit more skeptical.  Personally, I saw a marked improvement from the premiere to Episode 2, but lack of DVR means I haven’t had a chance to watch last night’s show. 

That’s all from here for now — if you have any tips, links, or thoughts to share, Twit me!