The week after the Super Bowl and as exciting as the game was, I must admit that it was the Super Bowl commercials that I went back on Youtube to watch. Maybe it’s just me, but there is something really exciting about watching these ads, knowing that they are likely the crème de la crème of their marketing team’s efforts. The one commercial that especially stood out to me was for Dodge Ram Trucks.
At first, a simple slide show of rustic photos with background narration seems out of place amongst the flashy ads of the Super Bowl. However, (and it kills me to admit it) I soon found myself tearing up at this suddenly endearing commercial that worked so well because it was so simple. With narration from Paul Harvey on the virtues of the farmer and the values that this role reflects, I saw Dodge trying to influence the consumer decision process. By linking their truck to the lifestyle of a farmer, Dodge appealed to both the functional and psychological needs of the consumer. They spoke of the many duties a farmer must accomplish, signalling that their truck is the best for the job, and that if it can handle the many demands of a rural lifestyle, the truck can definitely handle anything else. The ad also appealed to the psychological needs of the consumer. The combination of the pictures and narration spoke of the importance of self-sufficiency, hard work, humbleness, family, tradition, and in general, felt like an ode to the ‘good ol days’ of hands-on, working class America; hinting to the true grit of what helped to shape America, and what keeps it going today. A consumer would feel the psychological need to embody these qualities and to be a patriotic member of this America. Perhaps being the proud owner of a Dodge Ram truck is the key!
It was interesting and effective to see Dodge pair traditional/stereotypical images of who a farmer is with images of other individuals who also fit the description of a farmer (such as women, children, girls etc.) because this made the commercial seem more modern and relevant to our times. However, the very nature of the narration (which speaks of God etc.) still catered towards a more traditional America. I think that this was a smart move, as Ram’s most loyal customers are likely to relate to the traditional tone of the narration. I also think that this was a relevant ad to run during the Super Bowl because it talked specifically of the bond between a father and son, and watching the Super Bowl (although not exclusively) historically seems like a father/son activity.
Either way, if Ram could have a girl who’s lived in a city outside of America her entire life tearing up and feeling all sentimental (for no good reason!), I’d say it was effective.
I have also included another interesting article here that critiques Ram’s ad, bringing up important points -many to which I agree. Definitely worth a read.