Marketing Urban Identity

“When it comes to luxury, it’s as much about where it’s from, as who it’s for.”

As I was thinking through the number of films and tv shows that have highlighted urban issues this year, I kept thinking back on this Superbowl ad from a couple of weeks ago (click on the image for the full video), so I thought I’d repost it. I found it to be a very interesting use of Detroit’s urban identity, both good and bad, to talk about a local product. The images convey a real sense of the city, physically, historically and emotionally. While I’m not a car fan, it is, after all, the motor city…

While watching, I wondered how many cities can still be associated with a single industry in this way? Would other industries even want to use a city in this way? The ad gives a city lover goosebumbs, but does it really appeal to the luxury car buyer? When the narrator talks about the Emerald City, is he referring to Seattle or Oz… or a broader statement about sustainability in Detroit?