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Super Bowl 52 Commercial Review – Thursday Edition

Ram Truck Serves Up a Cream Horn

Hot Marketing Tips reviews Super Bowl commercials for new strategies, excellent examples of tactics and absolute failures so that business owners, decision makers and marketers can learn about what’s working now.

The cream horn is a delightful looking pastry that always catches my eye, but after biting into it, often leaves me disappointed. My expectation is for something rich and filling but it delivers an experience that is very airy and light-weight.

Each year, I give out a Cream Horn Award to the Super Bowl commercial that starts out great, but then lets me down in the end. This year’s award goes to Ram for the “Serve” spot.

Recorded 50 years ago, to the exact day of Super Bowl 52, we hear Rev. Martin Luther King give a rousing speech about the greatness of those who serve. The video shows professionals and everyday folks serving the people around them. The spot builds toward creating a national American conscience to serve each other, a truly awesome and worthy goal. And then comes the Ram truck through the fog with the message “Built To Serve.”

The product reveal should be an uplifting scene to the viewer, not a letdown. But when you have built the expectation with such a deep and important subject, and then use it to blatantly sell trucks…well, that’s disappointing.

To be fair, I have seen Ram execute this concept very effectively with the 2013 “God Made A Farmer” Super Bowl spot which I rated very highly. I wasn’t disappointed at the end when the tagline stated, “To the farmer in all of us.”

The 2013 spot ends with the focus on the farmer (the prospect). The 2018 spot ends with the focus on the truck (the product).

Lessons for Marketers

Know when to talk about the prospect and not the product.


What’s Next: Drew’s Favorite Spot

The annual review of Super Bowl Commercial insights from Drew Dinkelacker and MarketingAccelerator.com is a five-part series that will be released the week following the big game. Check back daily.

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