This year's Super Bowl ads were fairly unimpressive, but Dodge Ram's fourth-quarter entry made an impression for its quiet, lengthy use of conservative radio host Paul Harvey's speech from 1978's Future Farmers of American convention.
Created by the Richards Group, the ad features the late Harvey's voice over still photos of farmers at work and at home: "God said, 'I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the field, milk cows again, eat supper, then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.' So God made a farmer."
Slate pointed out Sunday that Dodge's ad appears to have been inspired by a 2011 YouTube video made by Farms.com, which surpassed 1 million views despite its relatively low budget. "Another reason the Super Bowl ads aren't that interesting anymore," Slate's David Haglund wrote, "Better stuff gets uploaded to YouTube every day."
According to USA Today's Ad Meter, Dodge's spot was Super Bowl Sunday's most popular, behind Anheuser-Busch's Clydesdale and Tide's Miracle Stain ads.
Here's the full text of Harvey's speech (via Zimbio):
And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a caretaker." So God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the field, milk cows again, eat supper, then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board." So God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt and watch it die, then dry his eyes and say,'Maybe next year,' I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from an ash tree, shoe a horse with hunk of car tire, who can make a harness out hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. Who, during planting time and harvest season will finish his 40-hour week by Tuesday noon and then, paining from tractor back, put in another 72 hours." So God made the farmer.
God said, "I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales, yet gentle enough to yean lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-comb pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the leg of a meadowlark."
It had to be somebody who'd plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed, and brake, and disk, and plow, and plant, and tie the fleece and strain the milk, . Somebody who'd bale a family together with the soft, strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh, and then sigh and then reply with smiling eyes when his son says that he wants to spend his life doing what Dad does. So God made a farmer.