Farmers, Work and Advertising

Posted by on Feb 4, 2013 in Culture | Comments Off on Farmers, Work and Advertising

Typically, I don’t comment too much about The Big Game advertising. Enough ink is spilled about the ads in every media outlet, that my few drops aren’t going to contribute overly much to the discussion though I do feel compelled to comment briefly on Dodge’s “Farmer” spot.

As someone who works in the ad biz, it was very well done, with great imagery, well edited, great use of the voice of Paul Harvey. It was classic Americana, and until the shiny rear end of an American-made-pickup-truck appeared in one shot, I wasn’t quite sure what the ad was for (which may be good or bad). Rather than get into a deep dissection of the ad I’ll make four quick points:

  1. as a branding exercise it was wonderful
  2. it seems to be generating wonderful buzz for Dodge
  3. if it leads to better sales, good for Dodge
  4. it was an ad that represented one of those moments in advertising where creativity and commerce combined to deliver an inspiring message, artistically

I saw comment somewhere on the web today from someone saying if you need to look ads for inspiration you need help (or something to that effect). I disagree. The best advertising is aspirational. It touches something inside of us that makes us think, that inspires us, and reflects well on the business who paid for the ad. Perhaps buying a truck from Dodge will help us realize our deepest yearnings, but maybe not. That’s fine. Appreciate the ad for what it represents as a creative act solving a client request (most art, in the history of the modern world, falls under this definition).

In an increasingly service-based-economy, in which we push paper & pixels, I don’t think it ever hurts to be reminded of our roots as an agrarian society, when work was something done with your hands and your mind. On a day that celebrates glitz and flash and image it was nice to see the elevation of people with dirt under their nails. Was it a great ad, the best ad of The Big Game? I don’t know, but I thought it was a great piece of creative for what it says about work, people and life in America: We’re Americans. We work. We improvise. We persevere.