Top 3 Truck Ads: Metrosexuals Need Not Apply

September 2, 2010

Hard to believe, but GM apparently trademarked the term “range anxiety”--which allegedly refers to the fear electric vehicle owners may have that their battery charge or range extender motor will not get the owner back to the ranch before the electric/dinosaur juice runs out. It could be the central feature in some Chevy Volt marketing campaign.

And this is a perfect example of knowing your target market. I read today about GM’s extremely targeted ad campaign for trucks that is uniquely American and manly. Check out the video and you’ll be amazed at just how well they know their target market. It’s also a good ad. But I think there are even better ones. Ones that go straight to the heart of what truck ads are all about, and to no one’s surprise, it’s about manhood, size and reliability (like a good hunting dog).

Here are my top three truck ads:

Chevy Silverado - The Manicure

Spokesman Howie Long, a mainstay of the mucho macho truck spokesmen, really gets in his shots here. He deliberately makes fun of the “sissy” heated steering wheel feature the Doge Ram has (this is not a vehicle for lightweights) because the guy driving it has a manicure. Now, I can tell you from my barber and watching a lot of mafia movies, more than one mafia boss and his henchman like a good manicure. So I wouldn’t go implying they are any less manly seeing as they have probably just whacked a guy, and then went for steaks and a manicure to clean the blood out. But GM says it clearly--drive our truck, and you won’t be labelled a sissy.

Built Ford Tough

OK, bear with me for a moment. Now that you have watched this commercial from the Way Back Machine, aren’t you a little amazed at just how outlandish this ad was (and still is)? I very fondly remember this commercial from when I was a teenager, and even then I couldn’t believe what the heck these marketing guys at Ford had dreamed up. How often are you going to haul another truck up a pile of boulders? It is drenched in gasoline-rich testosterone! It serves no more purpose than to kick automotive sand in the other guy’s face. I could just see the marketing guys, probably with brush cuts and having just eaten numerous 32 oz steaks, polishing their hunting rifles and saying to each other, “let’s try this idea for a commercial.”

Dodge Ram Hemi

OK, you knew this one was coming. But let’s face it, this may be one of the best automotive ads, let alone truck ads of the past 10 years. It’s so shamelessly macho, yet brilliantly funny, you have got to love it. Are the oft-used truck terms “towing capacity” or “cargo capacity” or “bed liner” even mentioned here? Nope. It’s the automotive equivalent of Spinal Tap’s bassist Derek Smalls cucumber hidden in the crotch bit. It’s about the massive monster under the hood, and how it brings in the ladies. The dream sequence with the tightly clad, blond women swarming the truck just sums it up. This truck isn’t for guys who go to the country club. And if you want an additional laugh, check out the follow-up to this one here.

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