So God Made a Farmer
Breaking down one of the best Super Bowl ads in history
In 2013 a Super Bowl ad ran that featured:
Almost 0 shots of the product
No video, just a slideshow of photographs
No music, just a little known speech playing playing in the background.
Yet somehow the advertisement was voted the #1 Super Bowl ad by AdWeek.
Let’s breakdown how.
First some backstory:
The spot was created by ad guru Jimmy Bonner of The Richard’s Group, who hired 10 photographers to take photos.
He gave them Paul Harvey’s “So God Made a Farmer” speech and asked them to photograph real farmers & ranchers.
They were told to shoot whatever they felt was appropriate.
From there the Richard’s Group created a simple photo slideshow using the images with Paul Harvey’s “So God Made a Farmer” speech playing in the background. Here is the finished product:
The 2 minute ad spot cost $12 Million dollars, roughly a million dollars for every 10 seconds in the commercial.
Plus Dodge agreed to donate up to one millions dollars to the Future Farmers of America ($10,000 for every 1,000,000 views that the YouTube video of the ad received).
The Super Bowl itself had 113 million viewers that year.
And as of today the ad on YouTube has 24 million views.
So why did it work? 3 main reasons the ad resonated so much:
Lesson #1 - It stood out.
2013 ads were filled with celebrities like Paul Rudd, Tina Fay, Seth Rogan, dancing grandparents, singing babies and all the other stuff you see every year in Super Bowl ads.
This ad was just different. A full 2 minutes of still images, no music, just someone talking.
Marketing lesson - one of the easiest ways to make an impression is to be different.
Lesson #2 - It tapped into an emotion.
We lose sight of it in tech but most of America (roughly 70%) live in suburban or rural areas. The ad tapped into an emotion - hard working Americans and leveraged Paul Harvey who embodies midwest American values.
Marketing lesson - understand what moves and motivates your audience.
Lesson #3 - it associated the brand with something bigger than itself.
Let’s be honest- Dodge has very little to do with the farming industry.
But the ad associates the two - “For the farmer in all of us” is the tagline it ends with.
By doing so the audience then associates a Dodge Ram with all the positive attributes they just shared with you about farmers - hardwork, family focused, patriotic, reliable, the backbone of America.
Marketing lesson - associating with something bigger and more meaningful than your own brand is an easy way to elevate your brand and it’s meaning.
If you enjoyed this be sure to follow me on twitter where I am going to be breaking down a new classic campaign every week.