Shot By 10 #1
This #1 AdWeek rated Super Bowl commercial this year was not directed by Cecil B. DeMille nor did it star Clint Eastwood. Chrysler’s RAM Truck division, by way of The Richard’s Group‘s Jimmy Bonner, struck out on a road less traveled. In place of one Art Director, Bonner hired ten. Photographers Andy Anderson, William Allard, Jim Arndt, Daniel Beltra, Mark Gooch, Andy Mahr, Kurt Markus, David Spielman, Matt Turley and Olaf Veltman got the call. The assignment simple, “go spend time with farmers and ranchers and take pictures to be shown in a 2 minute spot for Ram during the Super Bowl.”
Bonner and company (Rob Baker and Deb Grisham were reportedly also involved with the production) supplied each of the ten photographers with an audio recorded background track of a Paul Harvey “Oldie but Goldie” that would be used behind their still photographs. In ad-land terms this was a “Hail Mary” concept that either worked – or flopped, with little in between – that result based totally upon the audience reaction.
Super Bowl in the United States has become as American as the apple pie consumed watching the first half. In Ad Land terms, at nearly $3,800,000 per 30 seconds of air time, the $15+ million bet placed by Ram and The Richards Group was a huge risk.
While I find the message of the spot a bit rich on the sentimental side, it is an advertisement after all and a damn powerful one. It also shows when the public is given a choice of dancing frogs, prancing horses, half naked women, vs. the power of visionary still photography, the solo photographers win the vote of the people. Compelling still photography continues to command interest and respect. It will be with us for many years to come!
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