By on November 6, 2010

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.

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27 Comments on “Chevy Truck Ads: Less Howie Long, More Old Spice Guy...”

  • avatar

    I never really found the whole, “We’re cool because you suck,” approach to be either funny or creative. But then it wasn’t entertaining in the second grade either.
    Maybe I’m just not masculine enough to get it. . .

  • avatar

    “The Lodge” may be the best piece of homoerotic performance art I’ve ever seen. And so much exposition. It was as if they hired CSI writers to put the thing together.

  • avatar

    ‘Whooo-ooo…! -She’s provin’ herself somewhere…’ Haha

    Good casting. Is it just me or is Patrick Warburton starting to look like Richard “Bull Shannon” Moll?

  • avatar

    The long “The Lodge” is the best thing I have watched all week. Everyone should watch it. First video

    I have a feeling the comedy angle doesn’t help a whole lot, but the omnipresent man voice growling on about the other guy probably won’t do much better.

    Perhaps there isn’t much left for truck ads. Perhaps it comes down to only cost and brand loyalty. But at least there’s a funny video out of it.

  • avatar

    Is it just me or did the poles go to the wrong ends of the truck?

  • avatar

    Dumb, dumb and dumber.

  • avatar

    My math tells me those guys are carrying about 4000 lbs of wood overhead.  Very impressive.

    And isn’t the child’s presence some sort of OSHA violation?

    I get the joke, but they’re definitely not raising the bar in advertising.

  • avatar

    Where’s the manual transmission option for all these “manly” trucks?

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Playing with a thick knobby stick is just too gay.  And using both legs to drive?  What are you, a freaking ballerina?  Now go back to Pottery Barn!

    • 0 avatar

      Well, Lord knows I need 10,000 pounds of towing power to pick up a bag of dog food from Target and a 2 bags of mulch from Lowe’s…

    • 0 avatar

      Generally speaking an automatic is a superior option of a tow vehicle.  Torque multiplication helps in getting the load moving, and the combined weight of the vehicle plus trailer can lead to an increased chance of major damage to the clutch from a missed shift.
      Yes, traditionally big rigs have used manual transmissions, but your average Joe towing a 10,000 lbs trailer with a HD pickup doesn’t have a CDL or necessarily even extensive experience with a manual.   Big rig transmissions are also built to a different standard than HD light pickups, but with todays advanced automatics that can get better fuel economy than manuals, even true heavy trucks are making the switch.

  • avatar

    The lodge skit’s spirit is straight out of a Batman movie — and exactly the kind of crap gay activist copywriters produce when they want to insinuate their values into mainstream society.

    Anyone who thinks this is merely a parody of manly truck ads is unfamiliar with the agenda.

  • avatar

    Could this not be filed under Whiskey Tango Foxtrot also?

  • avatar

    I miss Joe Isuzu.

  • avatar

    Just when I start to wonder whether I’m being too hard on GM — I mean Gov’t Motors — and think that maybe the company isn’t really as bass-ackwards stupid as I believe them to be, at the very core of my soul… along comes something like this.
    Mission Accomplished. If the goal was to make Susan D’oh!erty’s “Volt Dance” look smart.

  • avatar

    Mass media advertisement is for the weak and infantile (aka, Massman) so this is perfect.

  • avatar

    One of the YouTube comments was dead on: they’re trying to be the next Old Spice commercial.
    e.g.: Blackhawks:
    Baby Man:
    etc.  The difference is that the Old Spice commercials are funny and don’t have these bizarre overtones.  The Chevy ads are just dumb.

  • avatar

    The Old Spice ads are stupid and terrible. I can’t believe anyone would think it’s a good idea to copy them. If I used Old Spice, I would have stopped after I saw those ads.

  • avatar
    John Fritz

    I was waiting for Putty to go… “High five”.

  • avatar

    I think that is going to cost them sales. I can’t help but think its gay. Nothing wrong with being gay, but it does not sound like fun to me. A Miata is looking better more secure then ever, as Mazda does not try to appeal to the inner gay in men.

  • avatar

    That’s the guy who voices Joe Swanson on Family Guy with the Hot Tub Time Machine guy.

  • avatar

    I like them, though they’re a little cheesy.

    Did anyone notice as they were walking through the room in the lodge with the mounted animal heads that one of them (right before the door) was a three-headed dog.  Ahem, Cerberus.  That may have been my favorite moment of the lodge commercial, and I’m sure it was no accident.

  • avatar

    I seem to remember reading that the Old Spice commercials came out of market research that indicated that an awful lot of women bought the product for their men, so they decided to aim the ad at women.

    Like it or not, the ad is memorable, which is not really something new for Old Spice as I’m sure many of us who are old enough can still whistle the tune that was a fixture of their ads from the ’60s.

  • avatar

    To be honest I’d probably pause to listen to a commercial where Patrick Warburton read the phone book.  Not that it would induce me to buy a pickup truck.  But it would get the name recognition out there.  All they need to do is dress the baby up a little bit to look like Mike Rowe and those ads would be over the top silly.  As is they look a little unfinished.

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