By on January 6, 2014

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A woman and her horse: the pairing that GM hopes will persuade female consumers to consider the Chevrolet line of trucks. At a time when truck ads are pushing masculinity to absurd heights, it’s a bold move. Even so, it’s a fundamentally conservative approach to a difficult marketing problem.

How do you sell pickup trucks to women? For a long time, the answer has been that you don’t. Close to 90% of pickup buyers are male, a ratio which hasn’t changed much in decades. Making the business case for attracting more women to the pickup market isn’t hard. Full-size trucks have been the prime moneymakers for Detroit for years, a market that the Japanese would like a bigger piece of as well. A skewed sex ratio means that valuable female consumer dollars are gravitating towards other, less profitable segments. In GM’s case, CUVs like the Equinox, Terrain, and Enclave have proved popular with female buyers. But pushing those consumers towards the loaded pickups on the other side of the showroom is even better news for the bottom line. Brand strategists have realized that the full-size truck is now the de facto top of the model hierarchy, at least for the Detroit 3. Upselling women into pickups and SUVs is a natural evolution of an age-old marketing scheme: turn in your smaller vehicle for a bigger, more luxurious one.

If only it were that easy. The thorny dilemma that immediately rears its head is how to market trucks to women without compromising their masculine image in the eyes of male consumers. As long as strong, rugged maleness remains the accepted paradigm for truck ads, the hands of agencies and marketing departments are tied. For the dominant manufacturers in the truck game, there’s no need to shake up the status quo on a product that already sells in droves. The companies with a smaller slice of the pie seem content to ape the strategy of the more successful brands in the hopes of gradually elevating sales. The result is an echo chamber of advertising which intentionally minimizes the role of women or excludes them entirely.

However, there are three factors which might motivate companies to pursue female truck buyers more aggressively. The first is the already-discussed temptation to upsell and broaden the pickup market generally. The second is that for a major product with such lucrative margins, the 10-15% of women who already buy new trucks is “not an insignificant number,” as Chevrolet truck marketing director Maria Rohrer explained to Business Insider back in July. Thirdly, advertising campaigns that incorporate women or themes relevant to women may influence purchasing decisions regardless of who signs on the dotted line. Although women are the direct buyers in a relatively small portion of truck sales, they influence countless more as the wives, daughters, business partners and girlfriends of male truck purchasers. Chevrolet’s “Strong” music video seems to take this influence into account. Although there’s a single female driver at around the 2:46 mark, there are many other women interspersed throughout the ad. The lyrics to the song are a paean to the sturdy blue-collar man who puts work and family above all else, a move away from the kind of brashness that characterizes Ford’s current ad series for the F-series. It’s one thing to give women a nod by putting them in the background, but how do you sell to them directly?

Chevrolet’s solution is an ad featuring a woman that explicitly eschews traditionally feminine themes. There are no kids being buckled into car seats, no painted fingernails tapping touchscreens, no group of women disembarking from a quad cab at the beach or the mall. It’s the opposite of the (in)famous Porsche “school bus” commercial, which dropped Porsche vehicles into a variety of mundane scenarios. Instead, we get a tough, independent woman hurling hay bales into the back of her new Silverado. She’s thin, youngish, and attractive, but not “pretty” or delicate: her hair is loose and wild, she has a tattoo on her wrist, and she looks at home in her cowboy boots, flannel, and sunglasses. She’s the only woman in the entire ad, outside of a quick crowd shot at the rodeo. She handles her horse and her truck entirely by herself; independence is the clear message. At the end of the day, she wins “a ribbon that goes on her wall, not in her hair.” As the author of the Business Insider piece astutely observed, and ad chief Rohrer confirmed, the narrative is designed to be “something that everyone could relate to.” And therein lies the fundamental conservatism of this approach: it seeks to attract female consumers within the existing, male-centric paradigm. There’s no serious risk of the masculinity of Chevy trucks being watered down from this ad, even though the main character is a woman. It engages women within the context of an open but overwhelmingly male-dominated activity. This is the safe approach, but is it the right one?

                The issue with this spot is that the direct appeal is ultimately very narrow. Even among the women who already buy pickups, the number of rodeo-competing horse enthusiasts is tiny. And it is very remote from the lives of the small business owners, industrial professionals, and affluent suburbanites who might form the core of a new female class of truck buyers. In other words, the appeal of the ad is deep within its narrow target, but not broad. Were I asked to design my own ad campaign for pickup trucks that targeted women, I would try to choose a widely relevant situation. A woman loading up home improvement supplies would be an example. So would a female contractor visiting a job site, or a business owner making a delivery. It might be worthwhile to toss a few kids into the ad as well, but not as the main focus. A woman and her horse is a step in the right direction, but it’s not likely to get many more women to consider a truck than those that already do. That’s probably what Chevrolet was going for, but expanding the market should be a long-term strategic goal.

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69 Comments on “Commercial Break: The Elusive Female Truck Buyer...”


  • avatar

    “Work or Play, It’s Your Chevrolet”.

  • avatar
    doug-g

    There are a lot of women driving pickups where I live, I don’t know if they “bought” them or they’re driving their significant others’ truck. Cute cowgirls in trucks are hot IMHO!

  • avatar
    mikedt

    The answer is so simple, make a pink one.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      A pink truck would fail. It’s the anti-social aspect of owning a truck for no good reason, that some women already like trucks. If they wanted a feminine truck, they’d get a Ridgeline.

      • 0 avatar
        econobiker

        Or Subaru Outback…

        Denvermike,

        In fact, I have a wealthy single mother neighbor who is a proud Ridgeline owner.

        And I have a male friend who, with his father, restored a 1950s Dodge La Femme, the model targeted to women.
        Actually they restored the La Femme because they found it in fairly decent shape and for the car show “rare” model factor.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          A woman not far from me drives a GMC 1500 as her daily driver(does shopping in ), her husband a Cab Chassis Holden Ute(tiles, cement mixer)

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @econobiker – A Ridgeline barely qualifies as a pickup truck. The Outback is more of a wagon/SUV/cross over, while still technically a “truck”.

          There’s cars that women gravitate to, but they’re usually small and economical, even if sporty. Now if they went with a pink, “Le Femme Edition” Outback, Mazda 3, etc, it would likely be taken as patronizing the women folk. I don’t know how that Dodge Le Femme was received by women at the time, but it sounds like an extremely rare car.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I had never heard of that model, but yes I can see how they were trying to market it toward women. Sounds pretty classy.

          “The La Femme came with a keystone-shaped, pink calfskin purse that coordinated with the interior of the car. The purse could be stowed in a compartment in the back of the passenger seat,[2] and its gold-plated medallion faced outward. This brushed-metal medallion was large enough to have the owner’s name engraved on it.

          Each purse was outfitted with a coordinated set of accessories inside, which included a face-powder compact, lipstick case, cigarette case, comb, cigarette lighter and change purse, all made of either faux-tortoiseshell plastic and gold-tone metal, or pink calfskin and gold-tone metal, and all were designed and made by “Evans”, a maker of women’s fine garments and accessories in Chicago.

          On the back of the drivers seat was a compartment that contained a raincoat, rain bonnet and umbrella, all made from a vinyl patterned to match the rosebud interior fabric.”

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_La_Femme

          http://www.dodgelafemme.com/registryalbum.php

    • 0 avatar
      doug-g

      Back before there were blogs, or even broadband, there was dial-up and news groups. I had a blast on the Dodge truck group (alt.autos.dodgetruck – wonder if even still exists…) back in the day. Once I went on there as a female Mary Kay salesperson who had selected a Cummins Ram in Mary Kay Pink instead of the Cadillac and was asking advice. One time I asked for help because my glow plugs would not illuminate, another because I thought the diesel clatter meant the valves were going out, etc. I also got quite a stir going by asking how I could get the fog lights to go on with the brights. When I started I did it for fun and was amazed to find so many people with NO sense of humor who were taking me seriously. I’d play the “stupid, naive female” and drive them totally nuts. Fun times!

  • avatar
    Maymar

    I’m not sure the focus is too narrow – the male-oriented truck ads dip into that latter-day cowboy well pretty heavily as well, whether or not that has any bearing on the actual demographics they’re trying to appeal to. As long as enough customers want to imagine themselves as that horse-wrangling woman, the focus is just fine.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      I guess the question is, do suburbanite women long to be (or prove to the world that they are) cowgirls, in the same way that suburbanite men apparently long to be (or prove to the world that they are) roughneck cowboys?

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      I don’t understand why cowboys are such a presence in the American psyche that it’s an image that people aspire to. What’s glamorous or desirable about being a low-status agricultural worker whose job is essentially to babysit somebody else’s livestock?

      The actual historic cowboy is about as heroic/idyllic as somebody who works in a field pulling up potatoes.

      • 0 avatar
        86er

        Is that a serious question?

      • 0 avatar
        greaseyknight

        You must not be from around these parts son….Ever heard of Marlboro Man? The cowboy is ingrained in to parts of the American culture as the wild living, free riding, independent, handsome, hard drinking man. A job that involves riding a beautiful horse thru beautiful landscapes all day long. This has been reinforced by just about every Western movie and all the country-western music stars.

        The reality is something different but still pretty awesome (how cool is it get paid to ride horses)Oh, and putting farmers and cowboys on the same level? Thats sure to start a fight in any Mid-West/Western bar!

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    Don’t ever get involved with horse women; especially the barrel racing kind. They’ll break you financially just for the opportunity to play make believe cowgirl every weekend. It starts with a tractor, then a truck, then a trailer, then another horse (tells you it’s a business)and finally an indoor/outdoor riding ring. It all ends with you being about #7 in her life while the horses and assorted accoutrement become #1. I want to punch John Cusack in the throat. Just sayin’.

    • 0 avatar
      Kendahl

      It depends on whether you are a horse guy. If you are, it’s a shared addiction. Either way, spending more than you can afford is a sure road to bankruptcy. My wife and I started riding in the mid 1990s but didn’t buy a horse until we were confident our retirement income would be sufficient.

      The difference between horses and, for example, clothes is upkeep. Clothes don’t cost much after the initial purchase and you can always sell them for a few buck at a garage sale or give them to charity for a tax deduction. A horse costs several hundred dollars every month you keep it and it’s hard to sell or even give away.

      • 0 avatar
        360joules

        Yes. No lie. When my wife was a young prosecutor cutting her teeth, she was assigned a bunch of animal cruelty cases. The horse cases were some of the worst.

      • 0 avatar
        nrd515

        My sister’s one time fiancee had a severe gambling problem, that caused her to dump him, after he cleaned out their joint savings account to bet on a sure thing that wasn’t a sure thing at all. That was strike three. Strike one was buying the trotter horse with $1000 1/3 of the cost) he took out of the account about a year earlier. Strike two was when he stopped making any deposits into their account because the horse had a foot problem of some kind, and an endless list of other issues, and boarding, food, etc. My mother had just explained the facts of life to him and told him she would match the amount they had saved up as a wedding present, but they would have to pay the mortgage, etc, without her helping much. He nodded his head, and then about a week later, took all but $50 out of the account. I used to do a lot of stuff to piss off my sister, but I never saw her as angry as she was the day she went to the bank to take money out for something, and the account was $10,000 light. In 3 days, a nearly 4 year relationship was over. A year later, she was married, so was her ex, and the horse was dead, he broke his leg during a race after he fell and had to be put down. She’s still married to the same guy, somehow he’s stayed married too, and lives in, of course, Las Vegas, where he works at a sports book. I saw the bills on the horse. Wow, it’s like being a drug addict without the fun part!

  • avatar
    el scotto

    You’re over thinking this. Market Silverados to women on their merits. Ride height in traffic, V-8, 4WD, and a luxurious interior. Yes, women like these attributes too. Throw in how easy car seats are to get in and out and how A Silverado will keep her family safe. The trick is getting them to part with a large chunk of money and making them think they made a smart decision.

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      In addition, run the ads in predominately female media outlets, daytime TV and women’s magazines. Few men will ever see that “softened” image of the brand.

      And, yes, throw in an image of the woman outsmarting/outdoing a man. Nothing appeals more to women than refuting the inferiority complex foisted on them regarding all thing automotive.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    [insert sexist and/or flying vagina comment here]

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Ok serious comment, few men really know what women want but if I was a women looking at a pickup I might be put off by the fact its like driving an aircraft carrier. One would have to do their homework, but females are one segment the midsize truck might appeal too.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    “A woman loading up home improvement supplies would be an example. So would a female contractor visiting a job site, or a business owner making a delivery.”

    So you would suggest risking the possibility of putting off the male buyers who dominate the segment.

    Trucks are sold on the basis on (stereotypical) masculine ruggedness and independence, not on male liberation. Anything that messes with that basic formula is asking for trouble.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Not so much. Trucks could never end up as the domain of women or identifiable as chick (or gay male) vehicles. That would be bizarro world. But it wouldn’t stop me from buying another truck. But I do love seeing the gals driving big pickup trucks. Such a fine sight to see. It’s a girl, my lord in a flatbed Ford, slowing down to take a look at m…. Sorry. Where, what were we talking about?

  • avatar
    cdotson

    The girl and her horse angle isn’t so bad, but by focusing on wanna-be “cowgirls” it won’t work. The cowgirl types either already have a truck or will drive an old one. The market they need to crack is the pseudo-country clubbers who are into English riding. They would be more likely to buy a brand-new vehicle and to opt for the luxury trims as well. True it does water down the hyper-manliness angle of the rest of truck advertising (who wants to wear a helmet riding horses anyway? didn’t help Christopher Reeve much), but it’s more likely to appeal to those who would actually buy or at least not turn them off.

    • 0 avatar
      ellomdian

      “The cowgirl types either already have a truck or will drive an old one.”

      Logged in to post this, saw you beat me to it. When I saw this commercial the first time, I wondered how many existing women truck owners they were trying to sway to the brand, and if that really made sense as a demographic. Most of the women I know who have the cowgirl fantasy nested in their heads want a man in boots and jeans with a new truck, but they would NEVER consider getting one for themselves. To them, trucks are something to be driven around in – not to drive around themselves.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Not many of the male purchasers fit the aspirational identity of the existing truck ads either. Important to remember this is the *first* truck ad with a female protagonist. It’s a toe in the water, cautious in the extreme of any offense to the existing paradigm. I expect a gradual drift towards ads designed to effectively generate sales to female buyers. This is just getting us used to the idea in stages.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @05lgt – I agree. This add plays up the rugged individualist cowboy myth but with a female instead. Safe territory that won’t piss off too many guys and get the attention of women.

      Trucks used by anyone other than those that really need them buy on image. Whether or not they are willing to admit that is another thing all together.

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    My insight is that women buy pickup trucks and full size SUV’s for their safety. When size = safety, you have an easy way of appealing to women without having to feminize your advertising.

    I live in Alberta, Canada, where probably 20-30% of the pickup drivers are women. More specifically, I grew up in St. Albert, truck country and deep within the “Mr. and Mrs. Manager” psychographic. It’s not an ostentatious cluster, so it doesn’t make sense to market luxury features. But you can buy a well equipped truck for the same price as a Camry or Accord. If they want to appeal to women, it might make sense to appeal to the pounds per dollar value of trucks. Logic + sensibility, the stereotypical values of female car shoppers.

    http://www.tetrad.com/pub/documents/prizmcemethodology.pdf

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @WaftableTorque – in many cases I’d have to agree. My wife’s best friend has a 2500 Silverado crewcab. She doesn’t like cars ever since she was in a bad wreck. The “bigger is safer” mantra does seem to sell a lot of mid to large SUV’s of which most are driven by women. My wife hated my F150 SuperCrew when I first purchased it but likes it now and when ever driving conditions get bad, she takes the truck.

      I see tons of women driving pickups too. Most are 1/2 tons that are used like an SUV. When we were replacing our old minivan, she wanted a SUV. All of her friends had crossed over to SUV’s from minivans because they all wanted to ditch the “soccer-mom” stigma. We tried a bunch of small SUV’s and ended up with another minivan but a year latter I got the new truck. She now wants a pickup when it comes time to replace her van.

  • avatar

    while watching all 4 NFL playoff games this weekend I was rather surprised and quite pleased to see significantly improved publicity by General Motors. nary a price, payment, rebate or any element of distress. well done ads, not hokey, even approached aspirational. perhaps more balance between product and lifestyle, but no complaints.

    this particular advertisement was creative, unique, somewhat bold yet tasteful. though perceived directed at a narrow segment, it showed moxie and class. kudos to my friends at GM.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I think in a lot of cases the name of the vehicle buyer is the head of the household (a man), but women drive them around.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Interesting thread .

    My Son’s 130 # wife has a Chevrolet pickup truck ~ a crew cab diesel Silverado , it’s a huge lifted beast I don’t much like .

    She’s a little bitty thing , my friends often comment on how ” smokin’ hot ! ‘ she is .

    She also races Motorcycles competitively so mayhap this new advertising is a good thing .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    Dan

    I can’t for the life of me imagine the women I know using the bed of a truck. For anything. Ever. They don’t have the upper body strength for construction and home improvement, runs to the dump, etc. They don’t have the slightest interest in muddy toys, dead deer, etc. They’re a foot too short to even reach the bed.

    If GM wants to sell them a “truck”, sell them a Tahoe.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      The women I hang with can kick those women’s collective asses. I like that. I have seen women use trucks for runs to the dump and loading feed/bales of hay. Nice attempt at sexist trolling too.

      • 0 avatar
        WaftableTorque

        Dan’s remarks would perfectly describe a metrosexual Asian male yuppie who’s into cafés, dim sum, interior design, and skin care. I.e. Me. :)

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        ” The women I hang with can kick those women’s collective asses. I like that. I have seen women use trucks for runs to the dump and loading feed/bales of hay. Nice attempt at sexist trolling too.”

        Exactly .

        My Sister in her F-350 diesel hauling her horses or groceries, trash etc.

        I see a lotta thinly disguised snark towards Women here , that’s kinda sad .

        I’m not askeert of strong women and yes , My Sweet is allowed to drive my old truck , she’d rather ride than drive though .

        Me , I love my truck but 90 % of the time , it just hauls me and my lunchbox , maybe some parts .

        Hardly any macho use of my rig apart from the Road Rallys .

        -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      econobiker

      Dan,
      Have you ever been to Kentucky, Tennessee, or Alabama other than flying into a major city?

      My Wife’s upper age 50s sister-in-law still could put a load of stuff into the bed of her truck until recently when carpal tunnel (from years of typing and data entry) got her hand strength.

      And the S-I-L would take the metal junk to the recycle yard to sell along with picking up supplies and stuff at TSC or the Co-Op.

      If you don’t know what TSC is or a Co-Op is then “you don’t know country” (or, more nicely, you lack an awareness of country lifestyle.)

      My wife’s niece in law, very much a pretty girl, drives a lifted diesel 2500 Dodge Ram 4×4 with intake kit and hi-performance exhaust and custom wheels. Just another piece of jewelry to the that pretty lady…

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Dan – it all depends. I know some really wimpy guys that couldn’t fight their way out of that infamous paper bag.
      My all time favorite pickup truck as a penile extension story is the time I pulled into a gas station to get a beverage and I bailed out of my truck and got snarled at by a pitbull on a chain in the back of an old lifted Chevy with Harley decals all over the windows. I go inside and see a skinny little dude covered in tats and wearing a flannel shirt with the sleeves torn off.
      That dude hit every stereotype in the book.

      I’ve always been of the mindset that a person can do any job they want if they have the attributes to do that job. We aren’t going to see many women that have the physical attributes to be linebackers, or masons.
      With that being said, I do know a doctor who used to be a metalworker and has a black belt in taekwondo and is a women. (and a rather attractive one at that).
      I also know another physician who sings and has sang in opera and hunts and fishes and is a big burly dude.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    I wonder if anyone thought to run this ad past some horse people. If you have a pickup, it makes more sense to have a goose neck trailer. Many horse owners haul with an SUV and must use a bumper hitch. The trailer in the ad is a stock trailer. It will work but a proper horse trailer (e.g. Sundowner) is better.

    Using horses as a backdrop to market to women isn’t a bad idea. The overwhelming majority of recreational riders are female. However, barrel racing is a narrow specialty. Unless Chevy is planning on a series of ads, they missed out on other western events like cutting, reining and pole bending and English disciplines like dressage, jumping and saddle seat.

    The last automobile ad connected to horses that I can remember was at least 20 years ago. It was an upscale ad for a full size Buick that showed the car pulling a bumper hitch single horse trailer out of a fancy equestrian facility with lush green pastures, pretty white fences and neatly painted buildings. The impression it gave was of well off mommy and daddy taking daughter and her horse to a show.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      Yes, it was an ad introducing the ’92 Roadmaster sedan. It’s on youtube.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Cars with towing capacity, what a concept.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        That Roadmaster/Caprice towing package was no joke. LT-1 V8, 5000 pound towing capacity, 2.93 rear end, limited slip differential, heavy duty cooling system with both transmission and oil coolers, and a factory installed self-leveling rear suspension.

        It’s pretty much half of a 9C1…well maybe a bit less than half.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        From the early 1980s to the late 1990s the John Deere dealer my father works for maintained a fleet of B-body wagons to deliver lawn and garden equipment. They towed trailers and equipment totaling a few thousand pounds on a daily basis. They were rock solid reliable for the business.

        I miss those cars.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    Our daughter grew up on Honda Accords, her first car was an RX-7, the second a red Civic hatchback. Her first new vehicle was a red fully-loaded 2004 Ford F-150 supercab.

    We have photos of her helping me wash my red short-wide box 76 Cheyenne pickup when she was about 2; don’t know if that had anything to do with her later choice or not.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    In lieu of kid seats, these ads need a big-ass dog jumping in or out of the second row of seats when the female lead exits or enters. Because if you’re going to get women with dogs out of their CUV’s, you gotta send this message. Note: this message may not work in states considering doggie seat belt laws.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    I think many women already like pickups. Out in traditional rural areas many women have always driven pickups. I hear from many female coworkers and clients that talk about getting one of the “new really nice pickups”, and I do not live in a rural area. I also hear from my daughters and their friends that almost all of them want a truck or wish they could get a truck. Now they are a bit young to be in the market for a brand new vehicle but that’s how you build brand loyalty, make the product desirable enough for people to aspire to. Over the next decade I think you are going to see a dramatic rise in the number of female truck buyers, especially as they improve MPG enough to make trucks more affordable as a daily driver.

    Also, I think the current percentages are dramatically skewed by work truck buyers and commercial sales of trucks. At the dealerships I see rows and rows of plain white single cab work trucks that are there for business use, and of course there are just always going to be a lot more male carpenters, electricians, plumbers, etc that need a basic work truck. It would interesting to remove commercial and fleet sales from the sales figures and see how the percentages end up. Not to mention the guys who buy a new truck that is then immediately taken over by the wife… happens more than you think!

  • avatar
    gglockster

    How would I market to women? Stress independence…think the female version of the blue pill commercials.

    Opening shot
    Waist down, valet opening vehicle (unidentified except badging) door as woman in professional office attire steps into the driver’s seat. Voice over “You know you’ve arrived when all doors open for you”

    2nd shot
    Same woman in business attire but holding blue prints and in hard hat is standing behind pickup truck giving orders at a construction site. Voice over “As the boss, you don’t need to be fancy and pretentious”
    Steps into pickup (pans luxury interior: GPS nav, etc) as men smile and follow orders. Drives away

    3rd shot
    Truck door open and pans successful McMansion and lawnscaped yard. Dog barks and comes running, Mother bends down to give low angle. Little girl runs up and asks “Mummy can we go to the beach?”

    4th shot (closing)
    Beach at sunset, woman carrying surf board and tossing into pickup bedliner with mountain bikes, etc. Drive off into sunset.
    Voicover “When you do it all, you depend of a truck that can support you from the Boardroom to the Boardwalk”

    Happy dog, daughter, and mom smiling and listening to infotainment system.

  • avatar
    April

    That commercial comes off just as patronizing as the ones aimed at men. It is the kind of nonsense would be be a deal breaker for me.

    P.S. I’ve shoveled my fair share of horse manure.

  • avatar
    kkop

    I live in horse country; I’d say half the trucks here (especially the bigger ones like F250) are driven (and probably owned by) women running various horse-related businesses, and are frequently towing large trailers.

    The ad may be a little over the top, but it’s pretty close to the truth around here. Ironically, hardly any of them are Silverados :-) Mostly Ford, with a smattering of Rams thrown in.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Ditto in my area of the Great Southwest. Although many women here drive a Honda Ridgeline for light duty use and maybe towing a one-horse trailer, the serious ones towing multiple-horse trailers drive a Ford.

      With Mary Barra assuming the helm, I bet we’ll see more marketing aimed at women buyers in the future.

      IMO, long overdue, but no threat to Ford F-series sales.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Highdesertcat,
        A New Zealand advertisement but sums up what I see every day.
        “”We are a family of five, including three energetic teenagers. Mum needs to tow a horse float that requires a vehicle with a 3000kg braked rating. We ski all winter, go mountainbiking, camping in the summer”

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    I am not a hick or a woman or pickup truck driver, but I found this ad highly offensive. If I were anyone of these groups I would be pissed. Basically this is the vision that the East Coast marketers that live in NYC and don’t even own a car have of people that drive pickup trucks and they should be offended by these dumb@$$ hillbilly ads that are constantly directed at pickup truck buyers.

    Anyway, at my home in the Midwest, you don’t really see many female pickup truck buyers, they mostly drive Tahoes, but at my place in North Dallas there are tons and they drive some expensive ones too. I saw one last week at Lowe’s driving some expensive F150 Platinum edition, got out all dolled up in expensive clothes carrying a $3K handbag. I find that women like pickup trucks quite a lot, but since they are the ones that usually carry the kids around, shop, carry parents around etc etc, an SUV is a more practical vehicle to do that with.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Most amazing thing I have seen regards Women Drivers, was TWO women in their 70′s driving a 2012 Chevrolet 2500HD with a work box attached to the flatbed. Seeing US Pickups are mighty rare in Australia, this really stood out especially in an urban area.
      I have seen very young women driving their mother/parents in Rental 23-26ft long Motorhomes.

    • 0 avatar
      April

      The new GMC truck commercials are especially annoying/stupid.

      example: “that big transport plane can haul stuff-so can the GMC pickup!!!

      Oooo that was clever!! *snark*

  • avatar
    replica

    Best thing they can do is continue to ignore women. If they attempt to feminize the truck, women won’t be interested anymore. It’s really no different than how men compromise themselves to be similar to women to get laid, but get friendzoned instead.

    Do you want your truck getting friendzoned? I don’t think so partner.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    My ex-gf wanted a Ram 1500 4×4 really bad, but she’s so tiny, (4’10″) that she couldn’t really feel comfortable in it. With the seat all the way forward and as high as it got, she felt awkward, so she finally went and drove a bunch of cars, including my Challenger, and wound up with an AWD Chrysler 300, with a nice back seat for the upcoming kid (hers and he new BF) and grandkid due in April. She loves it and drives it very hard. She said recently she still wishes she was as tall as her younger sister (5’7″), just to have bought the Ram instead. Her sister drove most of the cars with her, and did wound up buying a Charger R/T.

    With the snow we’ve had the last couple of weeks, I really miss my ’03 Ram 1500 4×4.

  • avatar
    Japanese Buick

    I live in the sticks and my wife has a horse. Horse culture is basically woman culture without the pink femininity, and this ad nails it. This ad could have been pulled right from the Facebook feeds of my female horse owning friends. Almost all the horse owners are women and they all have trucks. Almost all the equine vets are women and drive highly customized work trucks with equipment lockers, fridges (for the medications) that they use the hell out of, much more than most non contractor male truck owners.

    Is it patronizing? No more so than macho truck ads that show male truckers doing what 99% of male truck owners will never do.

    • 0 avatar
      -Nate

      Cool ! .

      It’s good to know GM hit the bull’s eye on this advert then .

      I too know many Horse Women but , I have no idea if there’s enough of them to make chasing the demographic a smart move , I hope it is .

      I work my truck *very* gently ~ if ever I needed to haul a load of rocks etc. , , I’d go rent some hammered U-Haul thing , not beat my poor old ’69 C/10 up .

      -Nate

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    This seems to parallel the thinking that goes into making cartoons and comic books: Girls will cross over and watch shows otherwise aimed at boys, but it’s a rare exception for the converse to happen.


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