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In 2004, the companies behind erectile dysfunction drugs Cialis and Levitra released Super Bowl ads for their drugs. Each of those spots—Cialis’ “Will You Be Ready” and Levitra’s Mike Ditka-led “It’s Not the Same”—somehow addressed their core topic with more subtlety than Ram’s Super Bowl ad that’s (ostensibly) about electric vehicles.
Created by parent company Stellantis in partnership with creative agency Highdive, the spot—entitled “Premature Electrification”—ran during the fourth quarter and telegraphed its intentions by tying the purchase of an electric vehicle to an “unsatisfied” sense of masculinity. Narrated by former Daily Show correspondent and The Detour star Jason Jones, the commercial heaps on the innuendo about “maintaining charge” and “handling payload” onto male truck owners while relegating the women they cast to hopeless onlookers worried about how often the journey will stop and start.
It’s a spot with all the nuance of a brand named Ram, but these 60 seconds airing during the Super Bowl’s fourth quarter are designed to debut Ram’s 1500 REV electric model and push preorders. There are some significant stakes attached to this effort, as Ram also wants consumers who reserve the vehicle to join its Rev Insider+ Membership Program at RamREV.comfor pre-ordering, exclusive event access, news, and information about Ram electric trucks. The one-time, $100 fee is refundable right up to the moment that a customer is notified that a truck is available.
Olivier Francois, Stellantis’ global chief marketing officer, noted that the ad’s tone and brand of humor wasn’t derived from the locker-room banter of his company and its creative team, but from the feedback of Ram owners themselves.
“As we open reservations for a place in-line to pre-order today for the all-electric Ram 1500 REV, we wanted to directly address any potential concerns about EV truck ownership using an approach that we believe will resonate with our truck-buying consumers,” Francois said. “The intent of the spot is to let our buyers know that we have listened to their concerns as part of our dialogue with them over the last several years as we prepare to introduce the all-electric Ram 1500 REV to the market in 2024.”
Ram can’t do much to help drivers who might feel emasculated by switching to electric power over gasoline or diesel. However, it can present its case for batteries that hold their charge in all conditions and vehicles with enough electric range to complete a grueling day of task or travel considerable distances in rural and exurban environments. Winning those arguments will be crucial if Stellantis intends of reaching its goal of reducing carbon emissions and increasing electric vehicle sales in the U.S. by 50% before 2030.
“We believe in bringing the right range of powertrain solutions to our customers, and the Ram 1500 REV will be the first in a lineup of electrified solutions that will add to our current award-winning truck lineup,” said Stellantis’ Ram brand CEO Mike Koval Jr. “ We are on an exciting electrification journey that will see Ram push past the competition in areas customers care about the most: range, payload, towing and charge time.”
Client: Stellantis / Ram
Ad or Campaign: “Premature Electrification”
Chief Global Marketing Officer, Stellantis: Olivier Francois
Senior Vice President of Marketing, Stellantis – North America, Marissa Hunter
Head of Ram Brand Advertising, North America, eff Summers
Ram Brand Advertising Manager: Lindsey Hart
Co-Founder/CCO: Chad Broude
Co-Founder/CCO: Mark Gross
ECD: Nathan Monteith
ACD / Art Director: James Lee
ACD / Copywriter: Ben Doessel
Partner, Lead Account Director: Kaley Lambeth
Account Director: Kevin Passolt
Head of Production, Executive Producer: Jen Passaniti
Senior Producer: Lindsay Vetter
Associate Producer: Abby Merhar
Director of Business Affairs: Kelley Beaman
Business Affairs Manager: Annie Paganini
Production Company: Interrogate
Director: Ric Cantor
Executive Producer: Jeffrey Miller / George Meeker
Producer: Scott Ludden
DP: Eric Treml
1st AD: Ed Walsh
Art Director: Duncan Reed
Editorial: 1986 Studios
Executive Producer: Becca Sita
Editor: Matt Jameson
Assistant Editor: Priscilla Perez
Assistant Editor: David Soto
Colorist: Jeff Altman
Flame Artist: Peter Amante
Audio: Another Country
Sound Design/Mix: Peter Erazmus
Audio Assistant: Lucas Hansa
Executive Producer, Audio: Louise Rider
Producer, Audio: Josh Hunnicutt
Managing Director, Audio: Tim Konn
Celebrity Talent Procurement/Music Supervision: Creative License