Finally we can stop worrying how we can survive the 2012 Apocalypse, at least according to Chevrolet’s new Silverado commercial. The popular post apocalyptic ad aired during Super Bowl XLVI for the “longest-lasting, most dependable truck on the road” (Chevy 2012). This advertisement set up a futuristic illusion of how four men survived the dreaded Apocalypse. They emerge from the rubble and destruction to meet up, and then find one of their buddies did not make it, because he owned a Ford truck and not a Chevy. This advertisement targets middle class men ages 30 to about 50, due to the survivors ages, decent looking clothing, and are able to afford the truck. This commercial portrays the end of the world as a “man’s world”, and that this truck can influence a man’s future in great ways.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxFYYP8040A&seo=goo_%7C_2010_Chevy_Retention_YouTube_%7C_IMG_Chevy_Silverado_HD_YouTube_PV_%7C_Silverado_%7C_chevy_silverado
Any educated person who views this commercial realizes the difference of actually surviving the apocalypse with just a truck and the company using an analogy to demonstrate the reliability and sturdiness of their new automobile. Chevrolet created a certain fantasy world, and according to the Media Literacy Project, “advertising constructs a fantasy world where all problems can be solved with a purchase” (Media Literacy Project. P.2), in this case the fantasy is surviving the apocalypse with the purchase of a truck. A few subtexts, or my interpretations of this ad are; trucks are a man’s car and men favor their dogs over women. An example that supports these thoughts is the four men have a rugged and “manly” appeal about them. Also, one of the men brings along his dog, and yet no one thought to bring a female. These actions could lead to the theory thought by Sut Jhally in his Imaged Based Culture, “advertising doesn’t always mirror how people are acting but how they’re dreaming” (Sut Jhally. 2003). One could perceive Chevrolet as people who are against women and these men in the commercial are now in their “dream world” without women around, which could give out a negative message to their female viewers.
One persuasive approach that is taken is the Plain Folk technique, “the suggestion that the product is a practical product of good value for ordinary people” (Read Write Think. 2009). The advertisers for the Chevy commercial used four “normal” citizens who “survived” the end of the world, giving off the idea that if these regular guys can tough it, then so can you. Another approach is the persuasion of fear. Advertisers use a situation that can create an unwanted and/or distraught circumstance and use the product as a solution. Although, we are not certain the end of the world is coming, there is still a fear of what will happen, and the new Chevrolet ad gives us a “solution”.
Chevrolet had a clever idea to bring a current topic, such as the 2012 Apocalypse, and use their product as our future hero. Of course a truck will most likely not end up being our knight and shining armor, but it is nice to live in a fantasy world every once and awhile. Super Bowl ads are meant to mainly target men because it is the norm for males to favor football over women; therefore Chevy was smart to tie in a man’s world with their new Trucks. It is important to realize not all advertisements are literal, but used as analogies to represent how passionate they are about their product, making their viewers passionate as well.
- Persuasive techniques in advertising. (2009). Read Think Write. Retrieved from: http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/lesson1166/PersuasiveTechniques.pdf
- Jhally, Sut. (2003). Image-Based Culture. Gender Race and Class in Media. (pp.201). Sage Publication, Inc.
- Media Literacy Project. Introduction to Media Literacy. Retrieved from: http://medialiteracyproject.org/resources/introduction-media-literacy
- You Tube. (2012). Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxFYYP8040A&seo=goo_%7C_2010_Chevy_Retention_YouTube_%7C_IMG_Chevy_Silverado_HD_YouTube_PV_%7C_Silverado_%7C_chevy_silverado