Super Bowl Spots: Jeep Versus Dodge RAM And My Dual Reaction

Here’s the one and only question I’ve been pondering about last night’s Super Bowl TV spots:

Why was I instantly smitten with the Dodge RAM “So God Made A Farmer” spot but thought the Jeep “Whole Again” soldier tribute spot was crass and exploitative?

I’m speaking of my immediate, visceral reaction to both commercials, which I hadn’t seen prior to the game.

Perhaps it was the rhetorical power of speechwriting-as-copywriting, or the familiar but otherworldly nature of Paul Harvey’s voice. Or the imagery was more impactful. But I was instantly enthralled. As I tweeted, “Paul Harvey just made every copywriter in the world look like a hack.” But as for the Jeep spot (which was the first of the two to run), I mentally lost interest fairly soon after the spot began.

So why the contrast? Both spots were lauding ordinary people — soldiers and farmers — as heroes, with only a loose connection to a product tacked on in the end. We’ve seen concepts like these before a thousand times. But I was distinctly turned off by the Jeep spot while the RAM spot stopped me cold and made me pay attention. The Jeep spot, while well-done, pales in comparison to every YouTube video I’ve seen of soldiers returning home and suprising their children in a classroom or at the front door.

I have few personal connections to either soldiers or farmers, so I don’t think the subject matter of one resonated more than the other. And both our military and our agriculture policy are points of contentious debate these days. But as I watched, I didn’t view these spots with any political undertones since they speak of individuals, not the collective.

Still, I had opposing reactions, and I’ll be thinking about that long after I forget the rest of the Super Bowl spots.

What did you think?

About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for TalentZoo.com and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.