While the ‘Best Superbowl ad’ will always be a subjective exercise, to me there was one clear winner this year and here’s ten reasons why:
1. It was memorable for three powerful reasons. First, the repetition of the phrase “So God made a farmer.” Second, Paul Harvey’s evocative narration. Third, stylistically it cut through its pyrotechnic competitors with stillness and gravity.
2. It celebrated the customer not the brand. In so doing RAM was positioned in the service of farmers which makes it meaningful to their lives and, by extension, to lives of all Americans.
3. It was an idea far larger than RAM or the Superbowl. It spoke to the important role that farmers play in the life of the country every day.
4. It was intimate. The words that Paul Harvey spoke reflected an intimiate knowledge of the farmer’s life and the daily sacrifices their make ensuring it connected with those that live on the land while serving as a revelation for those that do not. Here are two live tweets from the event that demonstrate this: “God made a farmer. Yes. Not hip, no gimmicks. Not trying to be funny. Just great. #SuperBowl” and “Best commercial ever!! Makes me proud to be a farmer! #ProudFarmer.”
5. It was values-based. The fastest way for a commercial to connect with its audience is to be framed around a values proposition as opposed to being expensive eye candy or small humor.
6. It was innately sharable. The RAM spot was such a beautiful, singular idea it can be shared easily.
7. It was beautiful. Every image in the spot commanded its own attention and piece-by-piece built an emotional portrait of a specific way of life.
8. It was discreet. Unlike many of the Superbowl’s ads, it didin’t shove the brand down our throats.
9. It made time fly. By unfolding a nuanced portrait of a farmer’s life it sustained your interest such the two-minute spot flew by.
10. It was inclusive. So many Superbowl ads reside in the world of entertainment, sensationalism or crass humor. The RAM spot was authentic, heartfelt and meaningful to all our lives.
Cutting through the ad clutter in the Superbowl is hard enough, let alone doing it in one of the most crowded advertising sectors – cars. While debate is now underway about the concept’s origin, this ad gets my vote as the most powerful commercial of the Superbowl.