Ram's Super Bowl Ad Will Drive More Brand Discussion for Days.

February 5, 2018 by Stuart Lewis, President & CEO at Clever Samurai - a 5th business company.

 

As an advertiser, the worst possible thing that can happen is to be unnoticed. With yesterday’s immediate backlash, social media noise and today’s water-cooler conversations, there will be those that believe being unnoticed would have been much better for RAM Trucks than running the Martin Luther King Jr.’s Drum Major Instinct speech as the backdrop to their “Built to Serve” Super Bowl ad.

I don’t think there will be much argument that the overall idea of the commercial was solid. In fact, it might have been very powerful with no soundtrack at all. There is certainly some confusion being delivered by the licencors of the MLK Estate as to whether they were aware of the ad, its content and the rights to use the 50-year old speech. RAM is clear that they worked with the MLK people, every step of the way. Mercedes did the same a few years back.

And while today maybe be an unusually busy day for the RAM PR department, it makes me wonder if the Fiat-Chrysler executives that control the RAM brand are looking at the long game; recognizing that the conversation will melt into another topic about another brand or celebrity scandal while they reap considerable discussion about their trucks and what they should, or should not have done with their Super Bowl advertising.

There is no question that RAM sells loads of trucks, over 500,000 in the US last year, but they are ever in-pursuit of market leaders Chevy Silverado and the Ford’s F-Series. Trucks are a big deal in some parts of North America; like motherhood and apple-pie (mixed in with a few gun racks). And those that drive them, they often drive the brands their daddy’s did and sometimes their daddy’s before them. RAM’s job is to get people to switch their brand choice to them – period.

Was the “Built to Serve” ad market tested in advance? One would assume so for a brand as sophisticated as RAM. Did they expect the discussion about the ad and were they prepared for it? Or did they have no idea that their brand would be the topic of the day?

RAM’s mistake, if there is one, certainly is not the technical misrepresentations of VW in recent history. It’s one that might actually garner more discussion, at least in the short-term.

So will RAM view this as a PR disaster or is this a calculated risk to help catapult them into the forefront of discussion with the new 2019 trucks now available? It sure would be interesting to be in their offices today – however RAM got there (by mistake or on purpose), they now have my attention.

 

Ram's Super Bowl Ad Will Drive More Brand Discussion for Days

As an advertiser, the worst possible thing that can happen is to be unnoticed. With yesterday’s immediate backlash, social media noise and today’s water-cooler conversations... February 5, 2018 by Stuart Lewis, President & CEO of Clever Samurai - a 5th business company.

Converting Analytics Into Insights And Insights Into Sales

It doesn’t take a genius to come up with one simple insight that can be applied to solve a client’s biggest marketing problem. Or, maybe it does. November 16, 2016 by Leigh-Ann Clarke, Director of Sales at 360 Leads - Clever Samurai’s Lead Generation Sister Company

Dear Client, Instagram doesn’t have to suck.

Many clients and businesses see Instagram as a “black hole” for advertising dollars. When they don’t quickly see sales, they place the blame upon the medium – before they begin to understand it. June 29, 2016 by Adam McDade, Copywriter

New Media Really Loves PR

Think about the old-school public relations agent pitching stories to get ink on their clients’ latest and greatest. With the right connections, a reasonable story and a nudge-nudge-wink-wink that advertising purchasing doesn’t impact positive editorial coverage, that old school agent might have secured a whole lot of ink. May 26, 2016 by Stuart Lewis, President & CEO

Welcome to our community

We’ve recently been doing some candidate interviewing and hiring for our client services team. And along the way, we’ve met some interesting, talented and quite experienced marketing agency pros. Some we liked and some we really liked. Some liked us back, some didn’t and some others we had a mutual dislike. Standard hiring stuff, really. January 4, 2016 by Stuart Lewis, President & CEO

VW used one of the most trusted marketing tactics we know: lying.

Many trusted brands market their product or service to the public knowing that it may not be great or even, it some cases, may be detrimental. And despite this, they still stay trusted brands. I once sold a pet food that veterinarians recommend you don't feed your pets. But it was cheap and it wouldn't actually kill Fido. September 30, 2015 by Joe Amaral, VP & Creative Director

The scientists versus the artists.

The digital world is being driven by the need to have accurate data to help create the intended impressions and views. September 18, 2015 by Joe Amaral, VP & Creative Director