Yes, things have changed in the world of trucks. Selling Chevrolet pickups was once a simple task, requiring little more sophistication than the average locker room put-down. In this now-bygone time, spokesmen for Chevy trucks were football players, and advertisements either showed a Silverado busting some dirt, or a Ford owner flitting about like Ryan Seacrest at a Justin Bieber concert. Overt, in-your-face masculinity was the currency of this era in truck advertising… until Dodge went and ruined it all by raising macho truck-ad values to the level of the absurd with its laughable “My Tank Is Full” spots (to be fair though, the paradigm was collapsing under its own weight anyway).
All of a sudden, an earnest repetition of hard-working, masculine values alone just wouldn’t cut it in the world of truck advertising anymore. What truck ads needed was a little bit of irony. Some humor to go with all the horsepower numbers, the celebrations of rugged durability, and yes, even the childish put-downs of the competition. So Chevy watched a lot of “Old Spice Guy” ads, hired some comedians and made it happen… with hilarious results.
Perhaps the most significant reaction that occurred when irony and truck ads first collided: Chevy’s marketers realized that casual, coded homophobia just isn’t funny. Especially when your two new spokesmen spend a lot of time alone in a mountain lodge talking with smoldering passion about their close working relationship (not to mention “torsional stiffness”). Needless to say, this new approach required a new formulation: instead of portraying Ford owners as a bunch of effete pansies, Chevy could simply compare the competition to a baby. You know, because it lacks experience or something. Plus, Ford trucks poop their pants!
Yes, really. You stay classy, truck ads.