It looks like the auto industry might be getting just as tired of the usual macho pickup-truck commercials as the rest of us. First, there was Toyota's silly spot for the HiLux pickup, featuring schlocky music and a man's undying love for his car. Now, the Chevrolet Silverado gets its own unusual ad. But instead of going for funny, it's trying to pull at dads' heartstrings. Too bad it's sort of weird.
"Like Father, Like Son," from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, stars a very cute little boy with a very active imagination. Aided by his toy truck and a playroom's worth of (Hasbro) goodies, he acts out (and narrates) a child's version of what men do with their pickups: hauling lumber, rumbling over rough terrain, aiding helpless ladies, launching rocket ships, greeting their wives—the usual. Soon, the boy's father pulls up in his real-life Silverado (which, says the narrator, is "built for work, and everything you work for"), and the kid runs off excitedly to greet him. Cue the misty-eyed dads.
Clearly, the spot is supposed to make us all sentimental about a little boy idolizing his father. But its strange cast of inanimate characters really dampens the endearing factor. A kid playing with his toy truck is fine enough, but the haphazard collection of action figures and dolls become more creepy than cute. The ultimate effect isn't so much Hallmark as Action League Now (which, for those of you who didn't watch a lot of Nickelodeon in the late '90s, was a slightly disturbing children's show starring talking toys).
Then again, at least we didn't have to watch a truck drive through the mountains while some guy talked about horsepower, right?
Spot: "Like Father, Like Son"
Director, Advertising and Sales Promotion: Kevin Mayer
Group Manager: Rich Martinek
National Advertising Manager, Chevy Trucks: Heather Stewart
Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco
Co-Chairman/Creative Director: Jeff Goodby
Partner/Creative Director: Jamie Barrett
Executive Creative Director: Hunter Hindman
Associate Creative Director: Chris Roe
Copywriter: Matthew Bottkol
Art Director: Todd Eisner
Director of Broadcast Production: Cindy Fluitt
Executive Producer: Hilary Coate
Senior Producer: Jon Drawbaugh
Assistant Producer: John Riddle
Group Account Director: Todd Grantham
Account Director: Tanin Blumberg
Account Manager: Carolina Cruz-Letelier
Assistant Account Manager: Phong Tran
Operations Director: Paul Brennan
Senior Brand Strategy Director: Ben Parker
Brand Strategist: Will Burroughs
Junior Brand Strategist: Ralph Paone
Production Company: Anonymous Content
Director: Mark Romanek
Director of Photography: Jeff Cutter
Executive Producer: Eric Stern
Producer: Scott Kaplan