Learn more about Sustainable Brands 2015 San Diego

brand vs. brand

Super Bowl Ad Watch: Ford Protests GM's Chevy Apocalypse Commercial

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 5, 2012 03:31 PM

General Motors CMO Joel Ewanick tweeted that his Super Bowl Sunday got off to a surprising start: "Woke today with letter from Ford asking Chevy to pull 2012 Super Bowl ad. Really! We stand by our longest-lasting most dependable truck."

Turns out that Ford sent a letter to GM and NBC demanding that the commercial, which shows Chevy Silverado owners surviving the apocalypse while their Ford truck-owning buddy doesn't make it, be pulled.

Ford's Twitter feed posted the following tweet in response and a link to a Ford-authored page about their F-series trucks:

Ford Trucks spokesman Mike Levine explained to Jaloponik,

"We don't agree with GM's claims in the ad. Particularly around durability. What's important is that Ford is proud to be the number one selling truck in America for 35 years. The best-selling vehicle in America for 30 years. And the only brand with more trucks on the road with more than 250,000 miles. That demonstrates just how durable our trucks are in the real world. ... The issue with the ad is that 'Dave' doesn't survive because he's driving a Ford. They cite R.L. Polk data on longevity — not durability. If you look at R.L. Polk's data on durability — the same data I just gave you — there are more Ford trucks on the road with more than 250,000 miles. ... We've made our point and we'll always defend our products." "But this type of a request happens from time-to-time, and now we'll just let our legal team handle it."

GM and NBC are refusing to pull the Tim Allen-voiced spot (in which even Twinkies survived the end of the world). Watch it below and see what you think.


Fun Guy United States says:

Did Microsoft sue Apple over years of "I'm a Mac" ads? Get a sense of humor, Ford!

February 5, 2012 05:06 PM #

Susan United States says:

Pure entertainment. Love the music, the dog...the humor...eve and especially up to frogs falling from the sky (ref: Magnolia..I got the film right?)

Ford, lighten up. And, time to get a new ad agency. Your neighbors are beating you in charm and entertainment value.

February 6, 2012 07:12 AM #

Ed Kriese United States says:

Screw Ford, that's a great ad! Love it.

February 6, 2012 08:28 AM #

Nick@Knight says:

How the Ford spokesperson ended his statement " and now we'll just let our legal team handle it" concerns me.  Is that what we've come to?  Is that how Ford handles disagreements with its consumers who purchase a new Ford that is later recalled - hide behind the lawyers?  Reminds me of my childhood days when I told my older brother "You wait until I tell Mom and Dad.".

If Ford is so confident on the Polk data and disappointed that Chevy deftly found a nuance in the verbiage (Durability vs Longevity), why not proudly stand behind that and get their counter-message across in a more civil manner than promise of releasing the lawyers?

Interestingly, the Dodge Super Bowl ad speaks to the US, as a nation, coming together for the greater-good and supporting one another.  Now THAT resonates and struck an emotional cord with me.  

February 6, 2012 08:48 AM #

Justin United States says:

They asked them not to run the ad which could easily been worded much differently and been a great commercial rather than throwing a cheap stab at Ford.  I don't see Ford poking Chevy with a stick.  No commercials about how General motors is inept and cant even stay afloat financially.  If their trucks are so great why did they need my tax dollars to bail them out?  

Just like their commercial about the "Man step" on F150s.  Poking fun at people that might have disabilities or the elderly who probably benefit greatly from it.  I think their ad team needs to take a step back and focus on showing the positive in their brand (not that there is much other then the Corette and Camaro) rather than trying to be a playground bully.

I absolutely agree with you on the Dodge commercial though!  Never been a big fan of the Chrysler family.  I have owned a couple and they were the least reliable vehicles I have driven.  However,  THIS is the type of commercial that gives me a better opinion of a company.  Ads dont usually sway me much but if I was shopping for a vehicle right now and it was between Chevy or Dodge I would probably still buy a Ford(Ive drive Ram, F150 and Silverado, F150 hands down the best, imo) But Dodge would definitely get my Biz before Chevy these days.

February 7, 2012 12:03 PM #

Danial Lyons United States says:

What a thing to be fighting over heres an idea why don't you google ford commercials and see all the times they dogged the competition with inuendos and being right out there with other dealers as well.

February 8, 2012 03:47 PM #

Jason Williams United States says:

I second that...lighten up Ford.  The ad was done in good humor.  If unsubstantiated claims were made directly about Ford, then yes, you have an argument.  Not the case here.  Great job GM!

February 6, 2012 08:50 AM #

Angela Wilson Gyetvan United States says:

Agree that Ford should have left this alone. Personally, I found the Chevy ad to be beyond-the-usual when it comes to bad taste - exactly how much money did GM take from the government in that little economic apocalypse? - so maybe Ford would have been better served by reminding folks that, as a corporation, they've stood the test of time.

February 6, 2012 09:04 AM #

susan United States says:

good point, angela.

February 6, 2012 09:15 AM #

WM DB United States says:

Plus, the only reason that Ford sells more trucks that Chevy, is because GM has GMC.  Combined they outsell Ford.

February 6, 2012 11:20 AM #

Alex S United States says:

Chevy's mistake was putting the name of the report in the add. I loved the commercial, and my last car was a Ford. Chevy should have ridden on the entertainment value alone. Maybe provide a link for more and THERE have the R.L. Polk data.

I agree with all that I read, lighten up Ford, it is an add. And it was hysterical and so very well done.

And Chevy does not have to pull the commercial, just modify it slightly.

February 6, 2012 12:06 PM #

roberto musatti Brazil says:

Poor GM. Lost the shining armor of largest corp in the world, went belly up, was saved with taxpayers huge amount of money but apparently did not lose the arrogance. Advertising 101 will tell you that huge exposure with negative message only creates sympathy for the competition. Has Pepsi managed to get even close to Coke in soft drinks? What's wrong with standing by your product, emphasizing the 'turnaround' - the new GM? Play ball for heaven's sake - unnecessary bad quotes on the competition are not 'teasers' but 'losers' since most of the times are incorrect. And remember -
The market is perfect since it knows all, at all times.

February 7, 2012 03:37 PM #

Steve Rustad United States says:

So... none of these meat-heads cares about lost parents, wives on children. "Hey dude, now it's just us and a box of Twinkees. Cool." The whole Chevy-Ford feud is so 1930's, and so irrelevant to the virtues - or lack thereof - of either brand. Perhaps, that's the point. These two brands are so interchangeable the last refuge of their brand managers is to foment clan warfare.

February 11, 2012 11:34 AM #

Comments are closed

elsewhere on brandchannel

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
brandcameo2014 Product Placement Awards
Apple loses its crown to a new #1
Coca-ColaIt's the Journey That Matters:
Coca-Cola Opens Up With Story-Based Web Refresh
debateJoin the Debate
Is product placement a waste of money?
Arthur Chinski and Joshua Mizrahi
Model Behavior? Brands Beware
U.S. Legal Changes Impact Use of Brand Ambassadors
paperCorporate Citizenship in Canada
Fresh thinking from Interbrand
Sheryl Connelly
Sheryl Connelly

Meet Ford's Resident Futurist
Highlighting the Present—and Future—of Branding in Latin America and Iberia