Sleek photography sold the American automotive industry to the public for generations; black & white, sizzling colors or captivating sex appeal images with a clear theme. Much of it honestly didn’t matter because the vehicle was pristine and the automotive industry was strong. Everything superficially seemed as it had for generations, so no one’s eyes were open to the storm brewing, let alone its long reaching implications.
The ensuing governmental bail out in late 2008 shattered the American confidence in one of our most historic industries. It indeed seemed impossible to ever rebuild the country’s faith. That is until a creative marketing campaign with powerful artistic photography turned the nation’s head back with a hopeful eye.
The Chrysler Corporation unveiled its 300 sedan series with a knockout Super Bowl commercial followed by equally powerful stills in different publications. In these images, the marketers paid homage to what has historically worked, but with one significant twist. Instead of selling a car to America, they chose to use the car to sell America. While viewing these images for the first time, some confusion ensued for the audience. The landscape and the people within it were the focal points, but even they lacked the shine of the classic stock images. This photography harnessed hard angles, unmovable lines, and monochromatic hues, all conveying stability and longevity. Detroit is the star and the car becomes merely the backdrop, but when it appears, it too commands the viewer’s attention
According to USA Today, the images
will be a breakthrough in terms of how you speak about luxury (in) this country. It doesn’t speak about luxury in terms of just aesthetic, but about luxury in terms (of) the spirit.” says Olivier Francois, CEO of the Chrysler brand.
The photography and the “Imported from Detroit” slogan work effectively together to help the American audience regain the sense that with hard work, all is possible. Detroit is a hard-working steel town that is represented by a formidable, steely vehicle. The connection is made through brilliant marketers partnering with just as ingenious photographers.
USA car stock photos have always been essential to the automotive industry, but it has become evident that they have never meant just as much as they do now.
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