“God Made a Farmer”

Why do commercials catch our eyes? Here are some reasons why:

Let’s take a look at the 2013 Dodge Ram pickup commercial “Farmer,” otherwise known as the “God made a farmer commercial.” It is a great example of how association, descriptions, and photos can be what gets a product sold.

This commercial touches on a lot in just 2 minutes. The FFA, American pride, farming life, and the deceased radio broadcaster, Paul Harvey, just to name a few. But the real goal of the commercial is to sell a truck, right? So why do these other things matter?

The answer is simple… yet complicated. All the “extra” stuff is added into this specific Super Bowl commercial because…

1. PAUL HARVEY is a familiar voice to many American homes… 

One of the first things we notice is the commentator’s voice… the voice of Paul Harvey, “a broadcaster for ABC Radio Network for 51 years…perhaps best known for his segment ‘The Rest of the Story’” (Link). Harvey died in 2009, making his voice less of a household normality and something that the younger generations are not as accustomed to. Older people, however, are likely to have listened to Paul Harvey on a weekly or daily basis before his death. Many people have a connection to Harvey that is something like a friendship of trust that was grown throughout years and years of radio listening.

Since Harvey is so well known, at least to older generation Americans, his voice attracts the attention to the commercial’s viewers. His voice also makes many people trust Dodge’s commercial, just because he was featured at the commentator.

This shows that people often make judgments based off of what something is associated it. Since the pickup truck was associated with Paul Harvey, the commercial was able to reach a broader audience, which in turn sells more trucks.


The commercial uses a slide-show of photos rather than a single video to advertise the Dodge Ram pickup. The photos show a wide range of people who could be considered “farmers,” but also shows photos of things that can be related to anyone. This makes the photos more relatable to a large amount of people.

Another thing that the monochromatic photos do is create a sensation that the commercial is showing life as real as it gets. This makes people believe whatever the commercial may claim… just because it “looks real.”

barn black and white
Link to photo

The photos also use color to create a feeling. Many of the photos are grey or black and white. This makes people feel calm and serious, which also helps focus attention to the commercial regardless of any other attention-grabbing elements.


Again, association is key. Since the commercial’s commentary was actually adapted from Harvey’s 1978 speech to the FFA, this commercial hits the hearts of FFA

tractor 1
Link to photo

members everywhere. But it also gains support from all Americans because now, every time they think of farming, young people, or the FFA, they will think of the new Dodge Ram pickup truck too.


According to Harvey’s description, a farmer has to be a kind hearted, strong willed, passionate, and driven person. Sounds a lot like any other American to me…

By using these traits to connect all Americans, this commercial relates itself to… well, everyone. Every family has very similar struggles and successes, regardless of were they live or their individual lifestyle. Dodge was smart to use these common characteristics to make every person feel represented by this commercial.


“Farmer” concludes by appealing “To the farmer in all of us.” This simple statement includes every single viewer by trying to relate all people together for certain attributes. It is true… hard work, dreams, rough times, good times, etc… everyone experiences each one.

If we all have things in common that unite us… then, we all need the same truck…. Right… ? That’s what Dodge Ram wants us to believe anyway.

ram pickup
Link to photo

I think they did a good job at convincing Americans that their truck is respectable and desirable.

What do you think?


Photos header: Barn on hill


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