After a week of sneak peeks, previews and early releases the Super Bowl has come and gone. There were many memorable moments from the 47th edition of this gridiron classic, like the surging San Francisco offense, Joe Flacco’s MVP performance... and who will ever forget the power outage!

However, regardless of the year, or the game, the commercials always burn a lasting impression in my brain. I was pleasantly surprised to see some of the top ads were those not pre-released or teased in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. If you read my post last week you know how that irks me.

Of the 54 ads between the coin toss and the final whistle, one stood out among the rest.  In fact, my favorite commercial was old school. Not just in the fact that they did not release something in advance, like so many others, it was the whole package. The ad I am referring to is the Ram Truck ad where beloved radio broadcaster Paul Harvey narrates “So God Made a Farmer”, a speech which he gave in 1978 at the National Future Farmers of America Convention, while stunning photos displayed before us for a full two minutes.  Truly captivating!   

This ad was classic on so many levels, and as marketers, Direct Marketers in fact, it is a reminder of what really works.  So let’s break this ad down and look at why it worked and why what makes it so successful ties directly to what we do as Direct Marketers.

Story – As Direct Marketers we love to tell stories because we know it works.  It is our way of drawing in the reader and convincing them to take action. The Dodge Ram commercial did just that.  Like a successful Direct Mail piece, they connected with their audience, told a compelling story about the fabric of America, farming, and the people who make this country great! 

Back to Basics – Ram did not rely on gizmos, gadgets or technology to engage you.  It relied on old school tactics: compelling narration, stunning photography and a clear concise message. Just like in Direct Marketing, simple often times works.  Do your research, focus on your target and shoot.  Like Ram, you too will hit a bull’s eye.

Focus – This ad was focused on Ram’s primary market, the hard working men and women who feed America.  If you think about the many automotive commercials you saw during the Super Bowl, they all lacked focus. Ram on the other hand, had laser focus on their market. In fact, Ram has declared 2013 the year of the farmer, and this ad kicks off a year of programs that highlight the importance of farmers.

Celebrity – How welcoming was it to hear the voice of legendary broadcaster Paul Harvey? Hearing his voice brought back many memories of listening to him on WBZ 1080 here in Boston as I drive to and from the office.  And Ram's use of his story “So God Made A Farmer” was spot on.  It evoked emotion, drew you in and by leveraging conservative broadcaster Paul Harvey, it delivered a huge dose of credibility with their target audience.  We have all seen our share of celebrities who have done great things for brands and those that have not… Lance Armstrong anyone? But like in Direct Marketing, endorsements are a significant part of a campaign. It allows your audience an opportunity to make an instant connection to your product and brand and become drawn in- as many of us were in the 4th quarter of Sunday’s game.

All in all, there were many good advertisements, but in my opinion was Ram’s was GREAT!  I hope you have enjoyed “The Rest of The Story”