Who would have thought that Time mag's Person Of The Year (POTY being the acronym for those who are — you know, in the know) award was such a big thing? I never knew it needed a "sole corporate sponsor" — but then again, I talk about cars all day. Maybe our sister site obsessed with the media would understand better why the 'merican side of the German-American hybrid felt it necessary to shell out dollars to be the only sponsor for both the POTY-mouthed issue of the magazine and it's one-hour CNN
step-child special for the yearly award. I know, let's find out by asking Chris Mohney, Gawker's managing editor what he thinks about the tie-in Chrysler's just re-penned with CNN and Time:
Wert: Hey Chris, Chrysler's spending a lot of money to be the "sole corporate sponsor" of Time's POTY issue and the one-hour CNN special of the same topic. What the hell are they hoping to get out of it?
Mohney: well, firstly, i'm pretty sure Chrysler will object if Time picks Kim Jong-Il
so one can assume Time will go with someone that at least won't be a slap in the face to the american car-buying public
Mohney: what prominent newsworthy figure would make a good cameo in a chrysler commercial?
Mohney: dick cheney?
Wert: Ok, so does that mean Time will look for someone who embodies the merger of 'merican design and German engineering? Who the hell fits that bill?
Mohney: hmmm...arnold schwarzenegger?
Wert: Judging by recent Chrysler commercial cameos — we've had Snoop Dogg, former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca and current DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche — none of whom fit that bill (except Dieter, but somehow I think that the mag may put the kibosh on a request to name "Dr. Z." the POTY). Unfortunately though, Arnold's Austrian — not German.
Wert: But ok, that's the "who" — but what does Chrysler have to gain in spending the mad ducats to get their name on it?
Mohney: one can only assume that they perceive some considerable overlap between their audience and Time's, i.e. old folks who like traditional brands.
Mohney: the holiday audience for the Time POTY special will certainly draw a lot of eyeballs, and i suppose Chrysler hopes some of those will be car-buying eyeballs who might, in a fit of appreciative gravitas, go for a Chrysler after seeing the brand associated with a (supposedly0 weighty subject like POTY
Wert: Mmm...old folks...
Mohney: they're tasty
Mohney: have any of chrysler's POTY-related ads come to light yet? print or otherwise
Wert: Not yet, but one can assume they will be equally as weighty as the magazine attempts to make the issue out to be, right?
Mohney: absolutely. expect misty, nostalgic photo treatments of past POTYs. though i imagine it will tend more toward FDR, Truman, Eisenhower (more old folks!) than, say, Hitler, Stalin, and Khomeni
Wert: So rather than potty-words in web adverts, we should expect the POTY adverts to contain similarly misty pictures of Walter P. Chrysler (the founder of Chrysler Motor Company, obvs) standing alongside cars of the past — hoping to evoke similar feelings of eye-watering nostalgia — rather than the gut-wrenching reality they currently face?
Mohney: ha! if not, Chrysler will be re-conceiving the ads after reading this shot. Juxtaposing those kinds of images alongside past POTYs or related historical events is the dead obvious way for Chrysler to hitch themselves to the POTY gravitas express...and if they can dig out some kind of "car of the year" award — paging JD Power — that would make sense to mention as well
Wert: Ah, I so love the smell of fresh creative in the morning...it smells like...overpaid ad execs.
Wert: Allright Chris, thanks. I now feel like I understand absolutely nothing about both Time magazine's POTY and absolutely nothing about why Chrysler's spending it's hard-earned cheddar for this dubious distinction. I think I'm going to cry in the corner for a short while.
Mohney: understandable. my takeaway thought is that Chrysler is blindly throwing money at something that admittedly does get a lot of annual publicity, but i find it highly doubtful that their POTY investment will result in much — in terms of publicity, sales, or anything else