Chrysler’s photography-led commercial for this year’s Super Bowl match stood out in an evening that was deemed somewhat lacking in terms of innovative advertising content.
The ad for the brand’s Dodge Ram trucks was produced by Dallas-based agency The Richards Group, which commissioned photographers (including William Albert Allard and documentary photographer Kurt Markus), to document American farm life. The evocative imagery is edited to a speech made by late American radio broadcaster Paul Harvey in 1978, ‘So God Made a Farmer’.
Some have questioned the religious sentiment expressed by the ad, while another critic pointed out that the commercial was essentially a new version – if of superior quality – of a clip by agricultural news site Farms.com, uploaded to YouTube in 2011.
But it seems that Chrysler developed the idea with the permission of Farms.com. Ryan Nagode, design chief at the brand, tweeted that Farms Media partnered with Ram, and the commercial was “not a rip, it’s keeping the idea alive”.
Ram Trucks has crowned 2013 the Year of the Farmer and will make a donation to Future Farmers of America every time the video is viewed or shared via social media. The Ram commercial was preceded by another patriotic ad from the manufacturer for its Jeep brand, which praises US military families in a narration by Oprah Winfrey. It marks the lates in a string of lauded Chrysler commercials broadcast during the event, following last year’s Halftime ad with Clint Eastwood and 2011’s ‘Imported from Detroit’ starring Eminem.
Other ads that stood out yesterday included Samsung’s celebrity face-off between funnymen Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen.
Coca-Cola, meanwhile, subverted the image of CCTV footage to spread its particular brand of cheer in this ad created by Wieden + Kennedy…
… and Budweiser moved grown men to tears (if the YouTube comments are anything to go by) with its story of a special bond between a Clydesdale horse (famously used by the brewery Anheuser-Busch in Budweiser promotions) and its trainer.
CR in Print
The February issue of CR magazine features a major interview with graphic designer Ken Garland. Plus, we delve into the Heineken advertising archive, profile digital art and generative design studio Field, talk to APFEL and Linder about their collaboration on a major exhibition in Paris for the punk artist, and debate the merits of stock images versus commissioned photography. Plus, a major new book on women in graphic design, the University of California logo row and what it means for design, Paul Belford on a classic Chivas Regal ad and Jeremy Leslie on the latest trends in app design for magazines and more. Buy your copy here.
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