The 10 Best Commercials of 2011

The year's most impeccable craft and storytelling in advertising

Best of 2011, Lists

About the Author

Tim Nudd is creative editor at Adweek.

CHRYSLER • Born of Fire3

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore. • Director: Samuel Bayer, Serial Pictures • Editing: Joint • Effects: Method

This two-minute Chrysler 200 spot from Wieden + Kennedy, which broke on the Super Bowl in February, won the 2011 Emmy Award for best commercial. It's easy to see why. The year's toughest, proudest, most defiant advertisement, it offered a gritty defense of a city, an industry, and a way of life, single-handedly bringing some of the old swagger back to Detroit and attacking those who would doubt the city's heritage and conviction—or its ability to produce a worldclass luxury vehicle. "What does a town that's been to hell and back know about the finer things in life? Well, I'll tell ya. More than most," says the voiceover, so hardboiled it could have been forged in a factory. Eminem's Oscar-winning "Lose Yourself" begins thumping, as the homegrown rapper appears behind the wheel of a 200. Passing several Detroit landmarks, he stops and walks into the Fox Theatre. Backed by a choir, he points at the camera and says, "This is the Motor City. This is what we do." A tour de force and one of the high points of Super Bowl XLV, the ad wraps on the year's best tagline: "Imported from Detroit."

Full credits here

Continue to next page →