Friday, January 05, 2007

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.)

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."
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?

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK. Buy a Yugo or a Hyundai and feel better about it. Seriously.

10:36 PM  
Blogger Phriendly Jaime said...

Ah, but I did get your attention, and it's more than obvious that I am, in fact, in the MAJORITY.

And please do not forget that I can read IP addresses. :)

12:14 AM  
Blogger Republitarian's Wife said...


Why do you hate America? :)

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This IP address drives a GMC and is proud of it.

9:29 PM  
Blogger Andrew from Middlebrook said...

This is your new Silverado. It gets 17MPG. It helps keep our demand for gasoline growing. Which help keep fuel prices high. Which makes Shell and Exxon rich and the rest of us poor. It also keeps the Middle East rich, so that they can afford to come here and either blow us up or elect more Muslims to congres. Better yet, lets drill the ANWAR so that all of us can drive these trucks.

11:15 PM  
Blogger republitarian said...

I have a dodge minivan and a chevy silverado....

The dodge is junk that has many annoying problems and parts are crazy high.

The chevy has been used and abused as a farm truck and now has 180k miles on it.

Dear Andrew, some people really need a truck....not just whimpy city folks who just want to look tough.

8:23 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

When I first saw this commercial, the first thing I thought was, "What happened to the Mellencamp that refused to let Reagan use 'Little Pink Houses' as a campaign song?" Mellencamp has the right to pitch the products he supports, but the stylings of this commercial don't synch with his past actions. Maybe the cash was just too good?

I'm from a Ford family and wouldn't drive a Silverado anyway, but the political "Red State" spin in that commercial is way too blatant. What does your vehicle say about you? Apparently vehicles have moved from status symbols to political symbols as well.

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My GMC, like my Ford before it, were built with American labor (union labor) and mostly American components (again, built by American hands employed by the vendors).

I get 18 mpg but -- with 3 kids I only have to drive one vehicle since mine is large enough to haul us all and besides, I drive less miles every day than most folks.

I have installed more efficient appliances, weatherized my home, use flourescent rather than incandescent light bulbs, recycle, minimize the grass in my lawn, use organic fertilizers and pest controls and I contribute to environmental organizations.

So I don't feel at all guilty about my choice to drive an big American SUV. And I bet the American families I help feed by doing so appreciate it.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Andrew from Middlebrook said...

Ok, I have to admit I drive a Ford truck - but only down to the barn. Otherwise, I drive a little sedan that gets 35mpg.

The problem is that everyone wants to be tough and cool just like Republitarian. So GMC and Ford have done a fantastic job marketing to whimpy city folks who want to act tough.

Not picking on you Republitarian. Just agree with you that there is a legitimate need for trucks.

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did y'all ever pause to think the ads ain't aimed at you, anyhow?

8:55 PM  
Blogger Phriendly Jaime said...

I checked your IP address. If you are going to comment on every thread, please pick a name and stick with it.


8:58 PM  

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