Sunday, February 3, 2013

God Made a Farmer

Most of the Super Bowl commercials that I have been giving a 10/10 to are the ones I consider to be interactive or motivating to visit the company's website or social media.

Then there was the "God Made a Farmer" ad. At first, I thought it was just pulling on my heart strings because I am from Nebraska and I have an intimate, albeit second hand account of what that life is like. And then, I started lamenting that for most of my life I have tried to escape any connection I have to that culture. Watch it here if you haven't seen it yet.

http://www.ramtrucks.com/en/keepplowing/

The reason this was such a great commercial is that I kept thinking about it even after it was over and I had so much to say about it that wouldn't fit into a tweet or Facebook post. Lots of people were tweeting and posting about how great it was. I think that is because the message people were relating to was having a strong work ethic. You don't have to grow up on a farm to have a strong work ethic. I always say that I got mine from my parents (one of whom did grow up on a farm).

So here's why I think kids aren't going to make that same connection: my next thought was about how I appreciate being able to have work/life balance. Whether it is a generational difference, personality type, nature vs. nurture, the idea of "working to live" is gaining in popularity over the idea of "living to work". A farmer's life is his work and his work is his life, and the same goes for the entire family.

So, have we lost that work ethic? Is that what made America great and now because we don't have it, we are losing our competitive edge? I know, you may not agree and even if you do, it isn't that simple.

As someone on twitter pointed out, what made it a great commercial was the strength of the voice and the photography. I'll let the advertising experts expand on that. I'm talking about the content and the art of storytelling. I'm making a connection for Generation X about understanding the value in it and yet, feeling distanced from it.

The website encourages you to watch the video and share a message of support in exchange for a donation from Ram to FFA. For them, it is literally about the farmers. The farmers are their target market and making that emotional appeal and charitable commitment is a great business strategy.

Tell me what your connection was and if you found yourself thinking about it long after the commercial aired.

To the farmer in all of us...