Eminem’s Life Story Highlighted in Chiat’s New Grammy Ad

By Bob Marshall 

If you’ve seen 8 Mile, you know that life on the streets of Detroit isn’t easy (just look at what happened to BBDO there). Based on the real life story of Marshall Mathers aka Eminem, the film tells the story of a young white kid stuck in poverty who rises above adversity on his way to becoming one of the greatest rappers in history. These days, Eminem is trying to tell a new story with his 2010 album, Recovery. This next chapter follows the world’s most famous rapper as he hits rock bottom due to prescription drug abuse, legal troubles and relationship problems, later redeeming himself through his music and finding himself back on top.

Recovery didn’t quite live up to the expectations of its creator, mainly because it wasn’t that great and because Eminem is now bordering on total irrelevance (2002 might have been the “Eminem Show,” but 2010 belonged to Kanye West). Still, TBWA\Chiat\Day convinced the Grammy folks to buy into Em’s mythology (probably an easy sell considering the success of the agency’s 2010 Grammy effort), with the above spot chronicling the rapper’s life as a series of highs and lows leading up the the 53rd Grammys. As Chiat CD Bob Rayburn tells MTV, “It was important to capture (Eminem’s) struggle.”

The spot is one of three in a campaign that includes a social networking aspect, which allows users to mark milestones on life maps with musical inspiration. Eminem once said at the peak of his popularity, “You think I give a damn about a Grammy?/ A lot of you critics can’t even stomach me, let alone stand me.” Recovery is up for Album of the Year at the Grammys. Gee, you think Emimen gives a damn now?