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.

SodaStream’s Controversy Might Not Bubble Over

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It’s all over the web; A “controversial” SodaStream ad, made by Alex Bogusky for the 2013 Super Bowl, has been pulled by CBS. The ad in question directly jabs at the two big players in the beverage industry, Pepsi and Coca-Cola, by calling them out for  500 million  bottles wasted on Game Day.

CBS cited the spot as being too competitive against the two beverage giants. However, considering Pepsi’s historical jabs at Coca-Cola,  it’s more likely that CBS was trying to appease their larger sponsors.

The general online consensus  is that this is a win-win for SodaStream. The CBS rejection means SodaStream gets tons of free impressions off of an otherwise unremarkable advertisement. In fact, they’ve already capitalized on the buzz by introducing  a new twitter hashtag: #SodaStreamAd.

But this new hash tag could also have the unintended effect of bubbling-up ongoing grievances against the company. Currently trending along with #SodaStreamAd are comments by activist groups opposed to SodaStream. These groups are upset because SodaStream, an Israeli company, currently produces all of  its devices in the West Bank, an area that has been the subject of Israeli-Palestinian conflict for years.

A statement on Activist group CODEPINK’s  website says this of the soda company: “SodaStream markets itself as an environmentally friendly product to ‘Turn Water Into Fresh Sparkling Water And Soda’… but there is nothing friendly about the destruction of Palestinian life, land and water resources!”

SodaStream might have to address this controversy if it doesn’t bubble over.