(NEW YORK) – It wasn’t flashy or filled with special effects, but Dodge Ram’s Super Bowl commercial that featured the late radio broadcaster Paul Harvey’s tribute to U.S. farmers might have won the hearts and minds of viewers Sunday night.
The two-minute spot featured a series of stark photos of farmers at work. Along with a montage of still images, Harvey’s distinctive voice delivers the narration: his “So God Made a Farmer” speech, which he gave in 1978 at the National Future Farmers of America Convention. He died in 2009 at age 90.
Ram commissioned 10 noted photographers, including National Geographic icon William Albert Allard and renowned documentary photographer Kurt Markus, to document U.S. farm life for the truck commercial.
“For the past two years, we have used the largest television viewing audience to highlight the pride, the resilience and the determination that form an integral part of the American character,” Sergio Marchionne, chairman and CEO of Chrysler Group LLC, said in a release.
The spot immediately set Twitter ablaze, with viewers registering their overwhelmingly positive reaction to the commercial.
Actor Gary Sinise tweeted, “Paul Harvey was one of a kind. Brilliant use of ‘So God made a farmer’. Great tribute to the American farmer. Wonderful ad.”
Actor Rob Lowe agreed. In a tweet that was re-tweeted more than 1,200 times within minutes of the commercial’s airing, he wrote: “God made a farmer. Yes. Not hip, no gimmicks. Not trying to be funny. Just great. #SuperBowl.”
Not surprisingly, the ad also resonated with farmers themselves.
“I have a agriculture degree, was in the 4-h and hold a lifetime membership and American degree with the FFA. ‘So god made a farmer’ is me,” tweeted @Minxified.
The sentiment was echoed by @MikeAldrich, who wrote: “Best Super Bowl commercial so far, “God made a farmer”. My wife’s family are all farmers, that commercial is dead on. Thank you farmers!”
The Ram brand has declared 2013 the year of the farmer, and is kicking off a year of programs dedicating to highlighting the importance of farmers.
During the Super Bowl, Chrysler also aired a Jeep commercial that featured the voice of Oprah Winfrey. Throughout the two-minute ad, Winfrey reads a letter to the men and women of the U.S. armed forces in which she tells them they are missed and cared for and the nation is whole again when they return home.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Lois M. Collins, Deseret News