Um, Chevrolet? It's my country too
I knew I couldn't possibly be the only American disgusted by Chevrolet's latest ad campaign, "Our Country, Our Truck." The regionalized commercials have been playing since the fall, and I am beyond tired of Mellencamp's growly croon and the overall partisan and exclusive attitude displayed throughout the entire commercial. So it didn't surprise me to learn that people all around the country have been complaining about Chevrolet and their lack of integrity in advertising for months.
Historians might also find a somewhat muddled message in the syncing of Mellencamp's lyrics with the ad's images. As the pop singer (who appears briefly in the ad) croons, "I can stand beside ideals I think are right," pictures of Parks and scenes of happy families flash by. But the next line -- "I can stand beside the idea to stand and fight" -- is accompanied by shots of Vietnam combat and Ali, suggesting approval for both the war and for the boxer who resisted being drafted into it. (Mellencamp's manager offered the song to Chevy after it was written, according to Automotive News.)Of course, Chevrolet can try to say (with a straight face) that they have done nothing wrong and that they certainly aren't bringing politics into advertising, but they would be lying. As most of us know, the images of 911 and the nuclear bomb were cut from the commercials before they were aired due to numerous complaints. And I think we can all agree on one thing; Chevrolet certainly isn't convincing anyone who didn't want to buy a Chevy truck last summer that they should now buy one. Why, you ask?
Nevertheless, Tezanos said the commercial has generated an "overwhelmingly positive" response from consumers.
This group clearly does not include Carie Lemack, a co founder of Families of September 11. Lemack, whose mother, Judy Larocque, was a passenger on one of the jets that terrorists crashed into the World Trade Center, asked: "Have we become so accustomed to exploiting people's pain that it is acceptable for a company to make money using images of it?"
Lemack said when she heard about the commercial, "the first thing that ran through my mind was 'Why would Mom's murder be used to sell trucks?' . . . I hope that anyone that chooses to use images of 9/11 and other tragedies does it with the intention of making sure those tragedies never happen again. This ad does not do that. It uses the images gratuitously, with the sole intention of evoking strong emotions."
Because consumers don't like to be insulted, that's why.
If a man who happens to need a truck but also likes cappuccinos sees that commercial and the little "dig" about "AMUHRICA'S coffee", there is no way he will buy a Silverado. If someone who uses both the internet and a large vehicle sees that commercial and takes offense to the "This is AMUHRICA'S chatroom", then I can almost guarantee he will drive on by that dealership. And as a woman? Are there any women driving the trucks in those commercials? ANY? Well, there goes that group of buyers.
I guess I shouldn't complain, since it looks like they are digging their own grave.
And in closing, I could not be more pleased to present you with these hilarious parodies of Chevy's not so brilliant and pretty darn insulting ad campaign.