Not very long, it seems.
You may have noticed a few weeks back a new campaign for the Ram (nee Dodge Ram) pickup. It was shot by a brand new agency and a brand new client team, and it seems it was done to rewrite the rules of what a pickup commercial could be.
"My name is Ram. And my tank is full," it begins.
"I'm all muscle. And all brain. Built not to achieve (dramatic pause) but to overachieve. I deliver the goods..." and on it drones, supported by a series of still shots of grilles, boxes full of stuff, retired boxers and dead cosmic theorists.
Now granted, most truck commercials run to type with a lot of dust flying around, low-voiced men of few words and trucks dragging Mount Hood down I-80.
But "my tank is full?" Exactly what corner of a truck buyer's brain is that supposed to tickle?
Especially when the Ram--nee Dodge pickup--gets two thumbs up, band-aids and all from those who drive one? Hemi engines. Storage. Interior room. You know...truck stuff.
So I wondered how long it would take the Dealers to howl loud enough to get the attention of the new bosses out in Auburn Hills. I can't imagine a single dealer who wouldn't. And, yes, it seems to have taken about three weeks for 1) the folks at Chrysler to realize something was wrong. 2) for them to realize something was really wrong and 3) to order up a new commercial, fast.
It was on the air a couple of days ago. A truck. A low-voiced man of few words. Mention of the Hemi. And as idea-free as this commercial was, I found it much more satisfying than "My tank is full."
The funny thing about all this is that the new agency is located right in the middle of Texas--Houston actually--so you'd think they'd know better.
I do hope, though, that this experience doesn't scare off our new creative team and clients. There has to be an inventive way to advertise pickups. Poetry a la Maya Angelou just wasn't it.
So okay, two spots down. Shall we try for three?