Eminem’s manager Paul Rosenberg says he and the rapper are both overwhelmed by the rapturous response to the two-minute Chrysler 200 ad that aired during Sunday’s Super Bowl XLV telecast.
“It’s just been amazing,” Rosenberg tells Billboard.com. “Immediately…the e-mails and texts started pouring in, Facebook started reacting, everyone all over Twitter was talking about it. We thought people were going to be pleased, but I don’t know if we thought it was going to be as ecstatic of a reaction as it’s been. It’s really been pretty electric. I haven’t seen something like this in quite some time.”
Eminem, meanwhile, is “really thrilled,” according to Rosenberg. “He’s always sort of cautious in his own judgment about things he’s involved in or creates until they’re really introduced to the world and he’s got a chance to see how (people) react to them. He’s very pleased with the reaction.”
While Eminem’s (and Rosenberg’s) hometown was thrilled with the pro-Detroit message in the spot — which depicts the rapper driving around the Motor City in the car to the instrumental strains of his 2002 Grammy- and Academy Award-winning hit, “Lose Yourself” — it’s also received universal praise in national quarters. It received an A grade from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business, while Edmunds.com reported that Chrysler traffic spiked 328 percent in the wake of the ad, with a 1700 percent vault for the Chrysler 200 in particular. BrandBowl2011, which measured tweets about the Super Bowl ads, declared Chrysler the most effective brand of the telecast, while NFL Fanhouse dubbed it the second-best ad, behind Volkswagen’s Darth Vader spot.
Rosenberg, meanwhile, felt a more grassroots measurement. “Everyone from friends and family, to people I know that are part of the Detroit diaspora,” he says, “were sending me e-mails, calling me: ‘I got goosebumps.’ ‘I shed a tear.’ ‘You guys don’t know what you’ve done.’ “
Rosenberg says Chrysler initially approached him around Thanksgiving about using “Lose Yourself” as part of its campaign to launch the new 200 model during the Super Bowl broadcast. As the discussion for what became a reported-$8 million ad continued, he says, “we came up with the idea that maybe it made sense to actually have Em be in the spot — not as an Eminem commercial but to put him in the spot as sort of a visual key to the parallel paths that the city of Detroit and hopefully the automotive companies are taking, that are similar to (Eminem) in his own life.
“You can draw the parallels of him going through his struggles, standing up and taking control of his situation and fighting through it and coming up a better man on the other side. It’s a parallel that we drew between himself and the city of Detroit and the automotive companies.”
Eminem, whose portion of the ad was filmed during January, was enthusiastic when presented with the idea. “It was mainly because he thought that there was no way this wasn’t going to be a positive thing for Detroit,” Rosenberg explains. “For the city to be seen in a good light in front of that many people with a positive message, it was something he felt like he couldn’t not do.”
Edited versions of the Super Bowl spot will continue to air, while Rosenberg says discussions are continuing about “some more marketing opportunities with them, but we’re still working out the details.” Eminem also appeared, via Claymation, in a Super Bowl ad for Lipton Brisk iced tea.
The response to the Super Bowl ad provided a strong kickoff for Eminem’s Grammy week. The rapper is nominated for a field-leading 10 trophies, most for his 2010 album “Recovery,” and he’s also slated to appear during the telecast on Sunday — though Rosenberg is keeping details of the performance “under wraps.”
Currently, Rosenberg says Eminem is “focused on getting through the Grammys” and then will concentrate on “rebuilding Shady Records and making that brand as strong as we can” with new releases by Slaughterhouse and Yelawolf. Nevertheless, Rosenberg acknowledged that some concert performances are also likely. “You’ll be able to see (Eminem) a few places this year.” As for reported film deals in the boxing drama “Southpaw” and the thriller “Random Acts of Violence,” Rosenberg says “there’s nothing that’s been green-lit for production yet.”