Monday, February 4, 2013

There was only one

I had planned on blogging a review of all the memorable Super Bowl ads this morning, but it turns out there's really only one worth talking about: "Farmer" by Ram Trucks.

While Audi, VW, M&Ms, Oreos, Coke and Budweiser created spots that seemed to to move the needle in terms of conversations on Twitter and other social media platforms, Ram pegged it.

The opening image is so powerfully disruptive, it stopped all conversation in the room. Paul Harvey's voice, the the stark emptiness of the track, the tempo of his words build to a crescendo more memorably than any jingle. The images are hauntingly beautiful, striking a perfect balance between the harsh reality and glorious romance that is a farmer's life.

The main reason this spot works is it avoids all Super Bowl advertising cliches. There were no gratuitous babe shots, no alien invasions, no spectacular special effects. no self-deprecating celebrities, no hilarious shots to the groin.

This spot stands out for the same reason Apple's 1984 commercial stood out: it was unexpected, different and it told a powerful truth. Like the Chrysler 200 spot of a couple of years ago, in just two minutes, it redefines what Ram means in the minds of those watching.

Ram is a fourth place brand in its category behind Ford, Chevy and Toyota. Those who believe it is inferior would not be enticed to consider Ram by mere facts. This spot gives them a reason to look without challenging their orthodoxies and should help increase traffic in Ram showrooms.

Is this the best Super Bowl spot ever made? No. Was it the best spot on this Super Bowl? By far.

And now the controversy: about 30 seconds after the spot aired, posted this article about how the Ram spot was a rip-off of a video that has been on's Youtube page since June 2011. While it is a superior recreation of the video, it is not a rip-off. It was done with the knowledge and cooperation of Someone at the client or agency saw it, knew it would work and had the guts to say we don't have a monopoly on great ideas. For that, I applaud them.

Tomorrow I'll take a look at the also rans in the Super Bowl ad wars.

1 comment:

  1. Spot on, Harvey. Plus, still photographers and voice over announcers (not screaming rock jocks or rappers) have to love it. The marriage of VO, message,and visuals make the brand easy to remember.