By on June 15, 2011

Having kept a relatively low profile since the disastrous “My Tank Is Full” series of ads, Ram is fighting to help keep Chrysler profitable with a new series of ads highlighting the Ram’s connection to “Wild West” values. And like nearly every bit of advertising approved by Chrysler Group ad boss Olivier Francois, it’s heavy on the hyper-sincere schlock, which makes the spots end up feeling like they’re selling a political candidate rather than a truck. And this just as it seemed like truck ads were slowly moving away from some of their previous cliches. Does doubling down on sincerity and the mythical Western ethos make sense as a way for Ram to catch back up on volume it’s lost over the last few years? Or should Ford’s stunning 50%-ish take rate on EcoBoost V6 engines in F-Series be pointing towards a more pragmatic, consumer-needs-oriented marketing campaign? Watch as many of the ads as you like and be sure to let us know where you see the Ram brand and its marketing effort heading.

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21 Comments on “Ram Pickup Ads: Will “The Code Of The West” Revive Flagging Sales?...”


  • avatar
    mike978

    I am not an expert on trucks but recalled from recent sales data that Ram was doing OK, so I checked.
    Ram trucks did have a sales increase in May 2011 vs May 2010 whilst Ford and GM had sale losses year on year (+17% vs -15% for the other two in May). YTD is +31% for Ram and “only” +11% for F-150 and Silverado. Seems like Ram is doing OK .

    Source : http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2011/06/may-2011-top-10-pickup-truck-sales.html

    I agree with a previous post that splitting Ram from Dodge was a bad move. I just wanted to correct the article saying ram is having trouble when the 2011 data actually looks OK for them. Whether it is good enough is a different, but related matter.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I live in the West and RAM isn’t doing all that well in my area. By far, the F150 in all its incarnations is the predominant truck in this area and Silverado is second. I see far fewer Tundra trucks but those I do see are pretty well decked out, top of the line trim and driven by older guys, like myself. I don’t see nearly as many RAM trucks as Ford or GM here.

      It would really be interesting if someone would publish what the best-selling trucks are in each State, and rank sales of them. Even annual sales would tell a much more detailed story.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Thanks for the anecdote from your small portion of the country (which has Ford first, GM second and Ram third, just like the data). I just set out the factual sales data. I don`t really look at the trucks around my small part of the country – I am more bothered by cars.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Mike978, the only reason I brought that up is because the son of one of my neighbors who sold Chrysler products was recently let go because Chrysler sales in my small area could not support his, and two other people’s, employment (and that included Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep cars). That son has since moved to Pembina, ND, to try his hand on the family farm. I wonder if someone publishes which trucks sell best in what part of the US, by State. I think that would be interesting to know, but even my brothers who are in the new vehicle retail business do not have access to that information.

    • 0 avatar
      harshciygar

      If you look at the hard numbers, Ram moved about 90,000 trucks. Chevy sold 150,000, and Ford a whooping 214,000 trucks. In 2006 by the end of August, Dodge had sold a quarter of a million trucks. So I think Ed is on point there.

      And I do agree, though if this commercial was going for macho, well, I think it kinda failed. I really liked the new Jeep Grand Cherokee commercials, and I don’t really care if a commercial is pandering to my feelings of nostalgia, as long as they do it well. It’s a commercial, after all.

      That said…this commercial was called Letterpress. I’m not sure book printers count as macho anymore. Why not just go find some die-hard Mopar truck guys and talk to them? Ask them why they are still buying Chrysler trucks. Give them a new one for a week. Something interesting. Again, I don’t mind nostalgic chest beating, as long as it is done well. This was not done well.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    Guts. Glory. Ram. Fail.

    Seriously, who does that ad appeal to? Typesetters? There’s a growing demographic. I’m not a truck guy, so maybe I just don’t get it. Just looks like uber-macho posturing to me.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @Russcycle: As a former typesetter, the commercials do appeal to me. Unfortunately. it does not make me want to buy trucks.

      Besides, think back to all of the pickup truck ads you’ve ever seen. How many of them didn’t have some sort of bullsh*t macho posturing in them? The most recent and egregious was when Toyota re-did the Tundra. Those were awful.

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        Allison & Max.

        Great commercials.

        I was laughing!

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        @SVX: I forgot about those.

        I’m also annoyed with the recent Ford ones, with the Denis Leary voiceover and the huge graphics all over the place. I see that lots of other products are using the same ‘motif’, including Subway.

        Other ones I forgot: When they were still Dodge trucks, they showed teams of guys racing them through the desert for some unknown reason. What was that supposed to prove, exactly?

        Or the Howie Long commercials. But he did ones with cars too, that were equally annoying.

        Is there some demographic research somewhere that shows only macho @ssh*les like/buy pickup trucks? Most of the folks I know with them are actually OK folks.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    Fail, as mentioned changing the name of the brand to Ram didn’t do them any favors. These ads may sell a couple of trucks but they aren’t going to put them in the running. With the success of the EcoBoost we will likely see the F series with as many sales as Chev, GMC and Dog er I mean Ram combined in 2012, unless the bottom falls out of gas prices, GM and/or Ram pulls a rabbit out of a hat, or some serious issues pop up with the EcoBoost and Ford ignores them..

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    This ad should do absolutely nothing for any man who’s not obsessed with the size of his…ahem…equipment.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    Hasn’t Dodge/Ram always lagged a distant 3rd to Ford and GM?

  • avatar
    mtr2car1

    Mike is right – using the data from PU.Com, Ram has not only gained the most in total sales – but they have picked up the most market share of the “big 5″ trucks.

    TY LY %DIFF
    Ford F-Series 38.9% 39.6% -0.6%
    Silverado 27.3% 27.7% -0.4%
    Ram Trucks 16.4% 14.1% 2.3%
    GMC Sierra 10.0% 9.0% 1.0%
    Toyota Tundra 6.0% 7.7% -1.6%
    Nissan Titan 1.3% 1.9% -0.6%
    100.0% 100.0%

  • avatar

    I live in western Canada in a region where the oil and agricultural industries drive the economy. My area has a rough and tumble working man’s philosophy where commercials like these would sell trucks.In fact, trucks are our major traffic component and Dodge/Ram trucks are plentiful in the herd.

  • avatar
    redliner

    After hearing about blood and sweat and guts all I could think was, “Ewww!” Now, where did I park my Honda Ridgline…

    (joking, of course)

  • avatar
    SP

    Silliness. The (DODGE) Ram is a good truck. I am not sure what it has to do with Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg. Although, I guess some of his posse might have called him GUTS. (Pronounced “goots”.)

  • avatar
    ajla

    When I think of Dodge trucks, I don’t think of farm-bred workhorses. I think of stylized hot rod stuff like the Lil’ Red Express, Dakota R/T, Rumble Bee, Ram VTS, and Ram SRT10.

    I’d like to see Chrysler’s ad agency stop taking everything so seriously and bring back the psychedelic “Rapid Transit System” using the RAM Express, Challenger R/T, Charger SRT8, and 500 Abarth.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      As far as the 1500 series Rams go, I see more of them being used a urban cowboy (or redneck cadillac) type conveyances, not really work trucks.

      Dodge does do pretty well with their HD line as far as commercial and work sales go though.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    Being in Toledo, with two plants here, there are a lot of Chrysler vehicles and many Rams running around, both 1500′s and 2500 work trucks. A friend of mine, who isn’t an employee BTW, just bought a 1500 Big Horn edition. Very nice truck. I would probably still be driving a Ram 1500 if I hadn’t hurt my knees badly 4 years ago. It’s a very useful vehicle, and I really miss my 2003, every time I pass by it. I don’t miss the gas bills though.

  • avatar
    V572625694

    All work is honorable and it’s nice to see a dying trade like typesetting featured in such sexy detail. But this exemplifies the problem of Chrysler in particular and lots of American makes in general: they’re pursuing a shrinking market of those who work with their hands or backs or feet for living, and appealing to their (perhaps imagined) contempt for those earn a living sitting at a desk clicking a mouse. It kind of reminds me of the Hardy’s “F**k you, I’m eating!” campaign, showing guys in wife-beater shirts cramming immense burgers in their mouths while pieces of the burger fall around them. The Ram ad is not that gross but the same idea.


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