Super Bowl Reaction is everywhere and according to many websites, the MVP award does not go to any athlete. An ad promoting the Dodge Ram Truck uses the late Paul Harvey's speech, So God Made a Farmer, which depicts the life of a farmer. The two minute ad has been placed on many "best of" lists, but the conversation is not really about the truck because the ad hits close to home for many.
The ad opens with a photo of a lone cow standing in a snow-covered field. The photo changes to one of a small white church. Paul Harvey's crisp, clear and deep voice is the only sound to be heard.
"And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise. He said I need a caretaker. So God made a farmer," Harvey said.
When this ad aired, it was easy for Dereck Nelson and his family to relate.
"They looked at me and said, 'Hey! That's you!'" Nelson said.
Nelson works at the Colton Farmers Elevator in Colton, South Dakota, but has spent much of his life on the family farm. His family farms more than 1,200 acres of soybeans and corn.
In the case of this Dodge Ram ad, art imitates life for many in KELOLAND. Harvey, a former radio broadcaster who died in 2009, gave speech heard in the ad to the FFA in the 1978.
The ad does not clearly present what exactly it is marketing until the very end, when the Dodge logo appears two minutes after the first words of dialogue. Many writers, and even Facebook users, commented that ad really sells the plight and virtues of the hardworking farmer rather than a product.
"We don't punch a clock on the farm. When the weather's fit, we go as hard as we can," Colton Farmers Elevator Manager Craig Fitzgerald said.
"They don't get a vacation," Nelson added.
The ad is not without criticism. Some viewers commented that it is out of touch with the fact that many farms are not family-owned, but rather extensions of large industrial corporations.
Let us not forget the obvious and true intention of this multi-million dollar ad; urge people to buy Dodge products. However, mere marketing tactic or not, Nelson and Fitzgerald said putting the focus on the men and women who work the livestock and the land sells much more than just a truck.
"[It] builds up a sense of pride for the ag industry. Coming from a farm background, people work hard everyday," Fitzgerald said.
That is a point many people who dwell in urban areas outside of the Midwest may not be very conscious about. For Nelson, Harvey's words take him on a journey.
"Yeah, it kind of made me think of my grandpa a little bit. He was a big cattle guy. He was always there for me and I was there for him. Kind of brought back memories like that. Pretty touching, I guess," Nelson said.
Agriculture is the number one industry in South Dakota, but Nelson and Fitzgerald hope this ad shows how a farmer's life relates to everyone, everywhere.