Foggy skies quickly fade to iconic images of Detroit: some inspiring, some memorable, some lessons
A gospel rendition of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” performed by Selected of God choir provides a harmony to the visual backdrop of what is being “Imported From Detroit,” the Spirit. As the follow up video to the acclaimed Super Bowl commercial featuring Eminem in a Chrysler 200 appearing to perform at the Fox Theatre, then-Chrysler chief Olivier Francois shifted the idea to a long-term cause.
The ‘Imported From Detroit,’ campaign comes during Chrysler’s corporate restructuring with parent company Fiat, of which Francois has assumed head of the Fiat brand as well as the chief creative officer
of both companies.
“It started as more than a campaign – a vision of being part of the comeback story of Detroit, together
with Chrysler’s comeback story,” Francois said, “From the start, there was the idea of doing something
generous for Detroit. It became kind of a movement.”
“You may wonder why there aren’t more cars in the video, it’s kind of a marketing tool, but it’s not a
product marketing tool. It’s about the spirit of a city and a brand more than about a product.”
Motown meets The Motor City. “It’s celebrating the attitude which is the bloodline of Chrysler, Detroit and this choir,” Francois said. The stars are the Choir members affiliated with Praise Tabernacle in neighbouring Grosse Pointe while Eminem is absent and Chrysler keeps a discreet profile. The overlying themes of strength and hope in Detroit are brought together through music.
“We thought, OK, we’ll start from the musical phrase and expand it to a whole song, it blends Eminem’s
iconic Detroit tune with what, to me, is another sound of Detroit, which is the gospel. It’s a real Motown
song – its hip-hop meeting with gospel.”
In order to create this fusion of Detroit sound, 8 Mile Style produced the single with Eminem’s co-
writers on the track, Luis Resto and Jeff Bass. Also debuting is the Imported From Detroit Project
(IFDProject.com), a web collaboration with Ferndale’s 8 Mile Style to promote Detroit events.
“This opens a new chapter for us, working with a company that has this kind of greater-consciousness,”
Said Joel Martin, manager of 8 Mile Style. 8 Mile Style, Resto, and Bass are all donating portions of their song royalties. Chrysler and Eminem will also donate sales proceeds and song royalties to three Detroit nonprofits including the Abayomi Community Development Corporation, the Yunion mentoring Service and Robert Skumake Foundation. Charitable contributions have already been established by other groups as well from proceeds of ‘Imported From Detroit.’
“It really captures that spirit of Detroit, and it’s such a good way of giving back,” Bass said. “It’s very
inspiring. It continues to show the power that music can bring to a city.”
Detroit is known as the Renaissance City for a reason, a social fabric with a resilient spirit.
Anthony Garth, Director of the video said his message is “It’s the people who make Detroit strong and
make Chrysler strong – that no matter what happens to Detroit, the people here are still incredible.”
The song is available for purchase on iTunes, with proceeds going to benefit Detroit-based charities.