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Now You Know the Rest of the Story. Or Do You?
By: Brian Perry
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With the Super Bowl now a memory, those in the marketing industry will start to post reviews about all the Super Bowl commercials that aired. This post is not above this, either. In fact, this post will be about the Dodge – Paul Harvey “So God Made a Farmer” commercial that aired in the second half of the Super Bowl. Why is this spot singled out? For one, the spot was an unconventional way to build brand loyalty and sell a truck. At first blush, the spot comes across as a pitch for some government farmers' association. It isn’t until the end that there is the big Dodge Ram reveal.

Looking at this spot from a branding point of view, you have to look at a couple of different questions. What was the brand’s target audience? Why did Dodge highlight farmers? Why did Dodge use Paul Harvey? All three questions can be answered simply. Dodge was trying to elicit an Americana emotional reaction in the viewer. Dodge wanted to appeal to the everyday, hardworking American that needs a strong truck to go along with their strong, hardworking lifestyle.

First, let’s tackle (no pun intended) Paul Harvey and why he fits into the Americana emotion that Dodge tried to engage the viewer in. Paul Harvey, for those not old enough to remember, was a radio broadcaster who commented on news each weekday. Some older people will know him fondly by his catch phrase, “Now you know the rest of the story.” Harvey’s appeal was that of an everyday, hardworking American.  

So now that we understand why Dodge used Paul Harvey, we can plow through (again no pun intended) why they chose farmers. Again, this goes back to the emotional feeling Dodge is trying to elicit from the viewer. Farmers are the epitome of Americana. The American flag, apple pie, the iPad, and farmers can be argued to stand for Americana. This country was forged with hardworking every day people who work from sunrise to sunset. Dodge used this angle to help brand the company as a down-to-earth and hardworking Americana vehicle.

To answer the question of the target audience Dodge aimed at, you can look at the first two questions answered above. Dodge was looking to connect with an audience of 35 years and above that has more income to spend on vehicles like the Dodge Ram. Dodge used the Americana feeling to connect with its strategically decided-upon consumer in this spot.

Did Dodge hit the mark of building brand loyalty with its “So God Made a Farmer” Super Bowl ad? Well, they certainly did get people’s attention after the spot aired. Either you understood the spot or you didn’t. But the genius of this spot is that even if people didn’t get the connection of Paul Harvey and farmers, they did talk about it. Dodge created a spot that subtly grabbed the attention of viewers glued to the Super Bowl and got them to start talking about the brand. Not bad for a spot about farmers.

Good day!

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About the Author
Brian Perry is an accomplished communications professional with expertise in all aspects of successful marketing, advertising, public relations, promotions, and social media. Brian's outside interests consist of Hockey, Lacrosse, Insanity (basically any type of sport), books, and family time. Find him on LinkedIn and Twitter
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