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Berry Gordy Jr.
© AP / Berry Gordy Jr.
Chrysler ad features Motown Records founder Gordy
By MIKE HOUSEHOLDER, Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) -- Chrysler recruited hometown star Eminem for a memorable 2011 Super Bowl ad that introduced the tagline "Imported From Detroit."

The automaker is going back to that well with an ad campaign it launched Thursday, relying on another homegrown entertainment figure: Motown Records founder Berry Gordy.

"We are Motown, and this is what we do," the 83-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer says at the conclusion of the 60-second commercial that promotes both the new 2013 Chrysler 300 Motown Edition and the upcoming Broadway musical based on Gordy's life.

Bing: Motown piano restored

Gordy's line is a play on the Eminem spot that featured the rapper driving a sleek Chrysler through the streets of Detroit, proudly cruising by the city's landmarks. In his case, the journey ended at Detroit's Fox Theatre, where he pointed to the camera and defiantly stated: "This is the Motor City, and this is what we do."

The new ad features Gordy sitting in the backseat of a white Chrysler 300 Motown, which is parked outside the Hitsville, U.S.A. building in Detroit. Set to the Marvin Gaye-Tammi Terrell version of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," the ad shows Gordy being driven through the streets of Detroit and eventually ending up in front of New York's Lunt-Fontanne Theater, where "Motown: The Musical" will begin its run of preview performances on March 11, ahead of the official opening on April 14.

Figuring in the 2-minute "Halftime in America" ad that starred Clint Eastwood and ran during the 2012 Super Bowl, Chrysler now has churned out three pro-Detroit ads featuring entertainment heavyweights in a 22-month span.

"Our collaboration with Motown Records elevates our passion to express our Detroit roots further," said Saad Chehab, president and CEO of the Chrysler brand.

Around the same time "Motown: The Musical" makes its debut, so will the Motown-themed Chrysler 300, which has a starting price of $32,995, excluding shipping. The limited-edition sedan also comes loaded with 100 tracks from original Motown recording artists, and features the Motown logo on the front seatbacks.

"Motown: The Musical" stars Brandon Victor Dixon as Gordy and Valisia LeKae as Motown star Diana Ross. Gordy is producing and writing the book for the show, and he also penned a few original songs for it.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Dec 20, 2012 2:23PM

Mr. Gordy is as iconic to detroit as Chrysler.

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