super bowl

Ram Truck Ad Wins Praise, But That God-Made Farmer Looks Awfully Familiar

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 4, 2013 05:42 PM

Chrysler's Super Bowl ad for its Dodge Ram truck, which features a lengthy paen to farmers by the late radio commentator Paul Harvey over gripping photos of their lives, has been received warmly across the twitterverse.

You may have seen something quite like it on the web long before Sunday, however.

The "So God Made A Farmer" ad, which matched a 1978 speech by the veteran broadcaster to a Future Farmers of America convention with work by 10 photographers commissioned by Chrysler, met with instant praise from everyone from real-life farmers to Hollywood celebrities. 

Actor Rob Lowe tweeted: “Not hip, no gimmicks. Not trying to be funny. Just great." Fellow actor Gary Sinise agreed: “Great tribute to the American farmer. Wonderful ad.”

Farms.com, however, posted a highly similar video to its YouTube channel in 2011:

Slate called the Chrysler a the "most striking" of the year's telecast, but noted: "The only difference between it and the Dodge ad is lower production values and no pitch for Dodge at the end.” 

“Another reason the Super Bowl ads aren't that interesting anymore: Better stuff gets uploaded to YouTube every day,” Slate bemoaned.

Chrysler argued that the Super Bowl ad was an act of homage, not plagiarism, and made with Farm.com’s permission. (A note on Farms.com's YouTube page states the organization was pleased to be work with Ram Trucks and support the "Farmer" Super Bowl scommercial. Slate has amended its post to make clear it was not implying wrongdoing.)

"It’s not a rip, it’s keeping the idea alive,” tweeted Dodge/Ram design chief Ryan Nagode.

The Ram brand has a longstanding partnership with the national FFA organization (also known as Future Farmers of America). For every view, download or share of the two-minute “So God Made a Farmer” spot, Ram said it will make a donation to the organization, intent on gnerating $1 million.

Chrysler chairman Sergio Marchionne said in a statement that “for the past two years, we have used the largest television viewing audience to highlight the pride, the resilience and the determination that form an integral part of the American character.” 

The “Farmer” spot was created for Chrysler by The Richards Group of Dallas, Tex., which declined comment Monday.

Chrysler's implied coziness with farmers appeared too much for Ford, a close competitor, to absorb silently. Shortly after the ad debuted, Ford appeared on Twitter to affirm its association with them as well.

“We're proud to have supported Future Farmers of America since 1948," the company said, and also offered a timeline of its lengthy association with the organization.

Comments

Kieran TS United States says:

If the execs at Chrysler / Dodge / Ram been more forthcoming that this was a continuation of an existing campaign, nobody would have care -- it's all for a good cause.

And don't forget, their other SB47 campaign involves another philanthropic initiative: for Jeep, around our returning service men and women --

media.chrysler.com/newsrelease.do;jsessionid=8C47BDDAA02DA2883E91E8205E29DA8C

February 4, 2013 08:38 PM #

Ed Kriese United States says:

Chrysler got Ford on that one, good for them! Great ad reaffirming real American values unlike the rest of the crap on Superbowl Sunday.

February 5, 2013 07:53 AM #

Lynn Donaldson United States says:

I’m a 4th generation Montana farm girl, and my 78-year-old father and 77-year-old mother still farm the land my great-grandparents homesteaded…so the Dodge Ram/American Farmer ad really tugged at my heartstrings. (My grandparents listened to Paul Harvey every day at noon in their farmhouse kitchen.) It was stunning not only in its quality of imagery–which the farm.com clip did NOT have (I idolize Kurt Markus, William Albert Allard and Andy Anderson), but also in how stark & “quiet” it was compared to the noise of the game & the other ads. To hear one lone, memorable voice behind such powerful still photographs stopped a lot of viewers in their tracks, causing them sit quietly and FOCUS. The ad agency took a good idea that was executed “okay” and made it into something powerful & brilliant.

February 5, 2013 10:53 PM #

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