Forget the Ravens and the 49ers. Chrysler won the Super Bowl ad contest among a number of commentators with a commercial for its truck brand that was memorable, unique and inspiring, writes Patrick George of Jalopnik.com. He's talking about a tribute to farmers with archived speech excerpts by Paul Harvey, the radio broadcaster who died in 2009.
With an ad that's spiritually similar to tonight's troop-boosting Jeep ad, as well as their urban-centric Chrysler ads from previous years, Ram has delivered something that manages to tug at the heartstrings while remaining genuinely authentic. It helps that the whole thing is beautifully shot.
It's the third straight year Chrysler has turned out an ad that people were talking about the next day. Last year, it was "Halftime in America," featuring Clint Eastwood saying “People are out of work and they’re hurting. Detroit’s showing us it can be done.” In 2011 it was the now-legendary spot -- especially in southeast Michigan -- featuring Eminem, with Detroit as a backdrop.
Chrysler says the two-minute ad Sunday was inspired by the “So God Made a Farmer” tribute delivered by the legendary broadcaster and used as an anthem in grassroots videos created by farm families over the past three decades.
"And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, 'I need a caretaker.' So God made a farmer," Harvey says amid photos of tractors, combines, Ram pickups and gritty, hardworking farmers. "It had to be somebody who'd plow deep and straight and not cut corners."
The automaker commissioned 10 noted photographers to create the farming images.
Slate's David Haglund initially questioned the ad's provenance because it uses portions of a Harvey's 1978 speech at a Future Farmers of America convention. He later updated his post, which praises "the most striking Super Bowl ad," to note:
Farms.com is working with the Chrysler Group to raise money for the Future Farmers of America. . . .
Another reason the Super Bowl ads aren't that interesting anymore: Better stuff gets uploaded to YouTube every day.
Chrysler's farmer spot finished in third place in the USA TODAY, according to the Ad Meter, in its 25th year, in which fans rate the ads. Anheuser-Busch finished first with a heart-tugging tale of the bond between a trainer and the Budweiser Clydesdale he raised. Procter & Gamble's Tide laundry detergent pulled off a close No. 2, with gentle humor.
As for Chrysler, it says the Ram brand is designating 2013 as the year of the farmer. It links to the National FFA Organization -- formerly Future Farmers of America -- from its Ram site.