God Made a Farmer, Ram Might’ve Been There Too

I really wanted to like Richards Group’s ‘God Made a Farmer’ ad. In a Super Bowl characterized by  humdrum creative, it was the only ad to dare to be original. Paul Harvey’s speech spoke to the steadfast American spirit. The imagery was moving and reminded us the value of a good day’s work.

But something just felt… wrong. It didn’t (overly) bother me that the ad romanticized modern day farm life. Or that it didn’t nearly represent modern ethnic diversity in farms. Nor did it irk me that it wasn’t wholly original. I get why there’s criticism surrounding those issues, but it’s not about that.

It’s the moment that  Ram appears at the end that ruins it for me. It’s in that final moment that the ad loses its magic. It’s no longer a tribute to farmers, it’s a pitch to sell trucks.

If Ram truly wanted to make a tribute to farmers, they wouldn’t have made the final moment a picture of an empty Ram truck with no farmers in it. I understand that Ram’s goal is to ultimately sell trucks. So put your Ram in the ad but don’t make it the ultimate focal point of the ad–it’s disingenuous.

Last year’s Halftime in America, now that was a tribute to the enduring American spirit. The story included Chrysler from the start, not as a side note. It didn’t force the Chrysler brand into the commercial, it was a part of the commercial. Chrysler was struggling, just as Detroit was struggling.  Chrysler was absolutely integral to the story.

You can’t be a motor city without a motor. You can be a farmer without a truck.

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2 Comments

  1. I find that a lot of my professors don’t understand how effective this ad probably was. I come from a farm town in Kansas, so the majority of my family is deeply connected to farming. I know this ad really hit them hard. They know Paul Harvey and they loved that broadcast. The kind of people who want to buy large gas guzzling trucks (not necessarily farmers!) really appreciate the values shown in that ad. (hard work, family, faith, etc.)

    I don’t believe the target audience would be as bothered by the truck at the end because because trucks are symbol of the hard work and traditional values for people living in rural areas. For them, it probably flowed better.

    I understand how it seems self serving because was not targeted to me at all. However, I feel like I understand the target audience really well and that commercial would have spoken to them.

    The ad was definitely not perfect but they should get more credit for the things they did right. Let me know what you think!

    Reply
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