My View From The Country

Dodge Ram Ad Shows The Power Of Marketing

The next time I buy a pickup truck, Dodge will get a long hard look.

Like 109 million other viewers on Sunday, I had the pleasure of watching the Dodge Super Bowl commercial that featured Paul Harvey’s poem, “God Made a Farmer.” Facebook, Twitter, etc., have been abuzz about the ad spot because it powerfully told a message, not only about those who work in American agriculture, but the values we all hold dear.

Anyone who’s ever donned a blue jacket took a lot of pride in seeing the FFA emblem. And learning afterward that Dodge had committed to supporting the FFA Foundation was icing on the cake.

Some folks were amazed that Dodge would center a campaign on the heartland of America. I remember traveling to Europe during George W. Bush’s presidency and having Europeans express amazement that a president would openly admit, express, or believe in God; they instantly thought he was a boob, and they almost laughed at America’s lack of enlightenment.

BEEF Daily Blog: Dodge Ram Super Bowl Ad Gets Mixed Reviews

I soon figured the “cowboy” moniker that Europe laid on George W. meant far more than the insinuation that he liked to shoot first and ask questions later; it signified that he lacked sophistication because he held views and beliefs they had long ago decided were no longer needed. I got the same sense from some of the reaction I read about the Dodge Ram commercial.

I have the privilege of living in Colorado where the University of Colorado (CU) is one of the great bastions of liberal thinking. I think CU takes great pride in battling with the campus at Berkley to see which campus can be more left-wing, anti-American and anti-capitalist. So it wasn’t a great surprise when I read the comments from a radical, left-wing CU professor which basically implied that the Dodge commercial was overtly political and celebrated conservatism. I did like her last line, however, to the effect that: “We get it Dodge; you don’t have to ram it down our throats.”

This professor is famous for being on the fringe; everything in her world is seen through the prism that the world is a battleground between her enlightenment and the rest of us. Her words are dismissed by anyone not on the fringe as soon as they are uttered. But I reread the Harvey poem a couple times to find a conservative or liberal message, and couldn’t find it.

Overall, I’d have to say that I feel really good about the response to the commercial. Despite the polarizing way that the fringes see this world, the majority of America saw the commercial as it was – a celebration of American farmers and the ideals they embody. These are ideals that the vast majority of Americans still identify with and aspire to. I have to admit, the next time I buy a pickup truck, Dodge will get a long hard look.

Discuss this Blog Entry 21

Anonymous (not verified)
on Feb 8, 2013

I currently own 2 Dodge pickups and am looking to purchase another one in the next few months and I fully expect it will be a Dodge. They support some great organizations like the FFA and I will stand with them on this.

Idaho Rancher (not verified)
on Feb 10, 2013

Ditto! Thank you Dodge and the American Farmers and Ranchers!

Lawrence Wansing (not verified)
on Feb 8, 2013

I thought the Dodge commercial (on the superbowl) was super. It finally gives the farmer his due when it comes to feeding the world.Many in america see farmers as leaches of society and think farmers should work for nothing because we owe them that.Food is a basic necessity and Farmers should provide it to the general public free of charge.I'll bet they don't make cars free because that is also a basic neccesity.
Nuff Said

Blaine (not verified)
on Feb 8, 2013

Troy,

You're commentary on the liberal mind-set permeating our universities today is right on. Also, your depiction of the European (overwhelming) belief in cultural and social superiority due to their secular beliefs is also to the point. I believe that George W. Bush will be judged kindly by history, and his quiet grace after leaving office should be an example to us all. I will never forget an interview he did (I want to say with Barbara Walters, but I cannot be certain), where she asked him how he began each day. His simple answer was "I begin each day on bended knee." For me, this was a very powerful statement.

The Liberal thought that believing in a higher power is confounding to me. I fear God, yet am grateful and blessed for all that he bestows upon me, my family, and my farm. I do not feign to know all of the answers, but it is the faith, the hope, and the love of a more powerful God that provides me comfort and peace. The professors and Liberal commentators label this as simplemindedness, the cast of the undeducated in order to hope for something more. How sad. I cannot imagine going through life without hope of something more, the belief that God is there and will fulfill His promises. What a shallow existence, really, when one just lives for the day and nothing more. This is why they have such a sour outlook on life, and value the heritage and tradition of American agriculture in this light. They cannot understand the spiritual side of farming or ranching, either, and view it as any other industry: a means to an end to continue the life cycle and provide needed services and goods to the masses. Very sterile, very sad, extremely socialistic.

The Dodge Ad was tremendous. Yes, it was an advertisement but a terrific testimony for farmers, ranchers, and American's everywhere. For a brief moment I wondered how many kids (or adult-kids!) thought to themselves, "I want to be a farmer, too." Not a rock-star, not a pro athelete, but a farmer...contributing to America and the American dream.

I am a Ford man at heart (they didn't take the bail out!) but have a 1999 Dodge Ram on the farm. My wife has promised that I can replace it when it finally gives out...and it won't! That old farm truck simply won't die...and I smile everytime she jokes with me about it. That said, when that day finally comes, I will also consider another Dodge for the farm.

shaun evertson (not verified)
on Feb 8, 2013

Fringe nutcases are sad. Like alcoholics and drug addicts, they soil everything they touch with the intensity of their egocentrism.

Kevin in WI (not verified)
on Feb 8, 2013

Proud "bitter clinger". Nice commercial. :)

Anonymous (not verified)
on Feb 8, 2013

Just because someone disagrees with you does not mean they are anti-american. I'm a lady 75 years old who loves farming, grew up that way, but has also traveled to many countries-east and west- and find that many of them have invented great things and started using them before we did or do. Also, being an American does NOT mean we have to be Christian (although I am), we are a nation that began for FREEDOM of Religion. I remember the early 50's when anyone who was wondering about communism was blackballed, (visiting Tito's area showed a whole different viewpoint of that communism), also, the John Birch Society became popular with some far right thinking. Visiting Croatia and Bosnia not long after their war also showed how so-called Christians marched Islamic people to the edge of town to shoot them in the ditches. That is surely not in any of Jesus teachings. Our children were in FFA (state farmers), our twins served 20 and 30 years in the military, so I don't believe I should be called anti-American for seeing that we really have a problem when we want everyone to be white and Christian.l

Keith Evans (not verified)
on Feb 8, 2013

Troy,

I agree that the commercial made most of us in agriculture feel good. I am also certain that it will sell some Dodge trucks. What I don't understand is is your charge that the people at Berkley and CU are anti-American. This kind of discourse is not going to help solve any of America's problems, or bring people to a better understanding of each other. Besides that, it is not true.

Keith Evans

Anonymous (not verified)
on Feb 8, 2013

well most of the people at those institutes want to change the foundation of America, that makes them anti America.

on the other hand what about Case they were all over the commercial and I haven't heard a peep about them. I think I'll look at Case for my next tractor/implement.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Feb 11, 2013

Case IH is another Fiat brand. At first I thought it was a Case IH commercial with a bunch of Dodge trucks in it, turned out to be the other way around.

Terry Church (not verified)
on Feb 8, 2013

Dodge got the message out to the mulitudes that never think about Agriculture and the American Farmer/Rancher. I'm so glad to see a major industry openingly support Agriculture. The fact that Dodge is promoting Agriculture and the Farmers/Ranchers of this great country is all the more reason to support Dodge and buy their products.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Feb 8, 2013

Troy,
I felt very proud to know that I have and opportunity to live the life they were showing in that ad. It is amazing the people that don't really have a clue about the life we live and how we care for family, the land, and the animals. I have had an opportunity to show people what we do and it seems that they are really curious to learn more about our lives in agriculture. What they feel is what they hear. My Dad goes south in the winter and is known as the Wyoming Rancher. People constantly ask him questions about ranching. These are older people that don't know but want to learn. We are way behind in telling our story.

on Feb 9, 2013

In reply to anonymous Just because:
What I have observed about those including most ideologues who sit fairly left of center is they have so little tolerance for the very foundations of this country that gives them the liberty to follow their ideals.

For the most part, those of us in the center are generously tolerant of almost anybody that's "not" in the center. The center pretty much follows those liberties allowed by those amendments of the Constitution that make this country what it is. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of press, freedom of lifestyle, generally all the things we take for granted as citizens of this country.

Those of extreme ideology on the other hand tend to have no tolerance for any ideals other than their own. It seems to me they are so secular that they feel a need to demonize, chastise, and generally run in the ground anyone or any ideas(especially conventional) outside their own sect. The center is not without fault in this respect either.

But, the center generally generously tolerates the views of the extremes while the movements don't seem to reciprocate.

It would seem to me that being "enlightened" would compound benevolence, but the opposite seems to be the case.

The most devastating result of the social intolerance involved is that we are misguiding the youth of our society.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Feb 13, 2013

"Those of extreme ideology on the other hand tend to have no tolerance for any ideals other than their own. It seems to me they are so secular that they feel a need to demonize, chastise, and generally run in the ground anyone or any ideas(especially conventional) outside their own sect..."

Isn't this exactly what Troy is doing?

on Feb 10, 2013

Great ad. Also liked the way President Bush mentioned God when he came to Europe.

Rex Peterson (not verified)
on Feb 10, 2013

Now if Dodge would switch to the generic check engine codes so that local after market mechanic could make the repairs.

DEWAYNE IN SOUTH DAKOTA (not verified)
on Feb 11, 2013

Outstanding ad narrated by Paul Harvey. I jumped of the couch and hollered to the top of my lungs "YES". Finally an ad showing the true American Farmer and Rancher. The scenes and pictures are true and real. The farmers and ranchers put in a 40 hour work week by Tuesday noon is real. Farmers and Ranchers will forever raise the food to feed the world population which will be 9 billion people shortly. GREAT AD Amen to dodge trucks for recognizing the True American Farmer and Rancher and supporting FFA in the USA.

From Sun Up to Sun Down (not verified)
on Feb 12, 2013

The Dodge commercial was a great display of the American farmer and the beliefs that they hold close to their hearts. They are hard working, down home people that don't ask for much and if they have too, it's because they absolutely need it. I believe that our government should the American farmer out more than what they do and not make it seem like it is a bigger problem that what it really is. I think farmers and ranchers are the backbone of this country and we need to be asking what we can we do to help them out and make their lives a little easier.

Jim Sturrock (not verified)
on Feb 13, 2013

My hat off to the creative mind of the adman who created what I call the perfect marketing presentation that continues to place the sponsors name on and on like the Ever Running Bunny and the sub-menial message Case. Which will come to mind subconsciously when an individual is considering equipment purchase

Good work Mr. Adman!

Anonymous (not verified)
on Feb 13, 2013

wow. "....left-wing, anti-American and anti-capitalist." That is just weird and wrong. I am about as left-wing as you could get, certainly a patriot and certainly a capitalist. Please don't be so narrow-minded. I am also Christian, 5th-generation family farmer and like the lady who posted above, I don't think disagreement means anti-American.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Feb 19, 2013

I have afew cows and grow some soybeans and wheat, have 3 Dodge pickups -2- 2500 and 1- 3500,and 2 Dodge cars so I'm kind of prejudiced .I really liked the ad. The kind of guy the ad described sounded like my dad.

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What's My View From The Country?

As a fulltime rancher, opinion contributor Troy Marshall brings a unique perspective on how consumer and political trends affect livestock production.

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Troy Marshall

Troy Marshall is a multi-generational rancher who grew up in Wheatland, WY, and obtained an Equine Science/Animal Science degree from Colorado State University where he competed on both the livestock...

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