Sunday, February 5, 2012

Wisconsin Rights Protesters Featured in Super Bowl Ad

We made it to the Super Bowl! Well, not really, but Wisconsinites standing up for their rights did. Chrysler's "It's Halftime in America" Super Bowl 46 commercial features a short clip of protesters outside the State Capitol in Madison. The commercial aired during the game's halftime.

At about 50 seconds in, there's a clip of protesters outside the Capitol from the Spring 2011 protests against Governor Scott Walker's rights-stripping bill.

Here's the video of the ad with the venerable actor and director Clint Eastwood

If you're unsure, here's a screenshot of the video with the Hans Christian Heg statue on the right side.

You can see the same statue in this daytime photo from Flickr user courthouselover

"...and our second half is about to begin. All that matters now is looking ahead and finding a way forward." Public workers were trying to negotiate to move Wisconsin forward in 2011, but Walker just wanted to divide us and dismantle the unions. We're just ramping up, and once we get rid of Walker and his uncompromising cronies, we can get Wisconsin moving forward again. They are clearly impeding our progress and refuse to work together.

Update (10:35pm): To the talk of whether or not the protest signs in the clip are "Photoshopped," it looks to be the case.  I don't recognize any of the "readable" signs, particularly the repeated signs. However, there's a sign in the far back left with red hearts that looks like it could be a familiar teachers union sign. I don't blame Chrysler, they're not trying to take one side or the other in their message. They're asking us to come together.

The meaning of the Chrysler commercial, IMNSHO, is that we need to come together, and we have come together before, to get America "back in the game," just like the people of the big car companies in Detroit did. We have to come together to start moving real solutions forward. No more holding up debate for partisan gain and ignorance of facts and reasoning. The only thing that matters is getting it right, it's time we all start working together. "Because that's what we do."
"...But after those trials, we all rallied around what was right and acted as one.

Because that's what we do. We find a way through tough times, and if we can't find a way, then we'll make one.

All that matters now is what's ahead. How do we come from behind? How do we come together, and how do we win?

Detroit's showing us it can be done, and what's true about them is true about all of us.

This country can't be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again. And when we do, the world's gonna here the roar of our engines!

Ya, it's halftime America, and our second half's about to begin."

Update: John Nichols confirms that the protest signs have been edited in the Chrysler ad, and Blogging Blue has screenshots for comparison. Again, I don't impune Chrysler for doing that, because our message wasn't their message. Clearly, they're proudly promoting the success they've had by coming together with employees on tough decisions, but the more partisan their ad appears, the less impact it will make on an integral portion of the population. Chrysler didn't want everyone to associate the clip with the specific problems here in Wisconsin, as Nichols points out, they went so far as to remove the engraving on Heg's statue. They weren't promoting any specific policy, just the idea that we've had some trouble and deeply-divided disagreements, and now it's time to get back to working together to solve our problems. That's the American way.

Don't make Chrysler wish they just used some stock protest clip from the '60s. We all know it's us, and it's not Chrysler's job to get political. More people should be standing up and demanding that we work together, which is what Chrysler did with their ad and we did during the 2011 protests.

Just bask in the knowledge of the impact we made to motivate someone to even consider putting a clip in their Super Bowl ad, and let's get back to solving problems.

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