• Aug 13, 2008

A tip of the cap is due to GM for the automaker's new Chevy Silverado TV spot, which premiered this Sunday during the Olympics. The spot features brief testimonials from drivers of high-mileage pickups wearing the bowtie badge, but one stands out more than the rest. Twenty seconds in, FDNY Firefighter Craig Monahan's segment opens with a wide shot of him standing in front of the Manhattan skyline. His battered truck has melted lights and a Ladder 5 placard affixed to the bed on the driver's side. In the spot, he recounts how the damaged truck started when he reached into the singed interior and turned the ignition key, saying that it served as an isnpiration, "If that truck could keep going, then we could all keep going."

This all happened on 9/11, a fact left unsaid but tactfully implied in the commercial. Veteran New York Daily News reporter Michael Daly knows Monahan and tells the truck's full story in an excellent piece that ran in Tuesday's Daily News. Frankly, you need to go there and just read the whole thing, because Daly's account is first-rate. Reading it also underscores the level of restraint GM exercised in how it used the truck in the commercial. It's a great TV spot, but the story behind that one particular 14-second segment is more remarkable and inspirational than you'd ever guess. Firefighter Monahan agreed to let his truck be used because he felt it was important for people see it and get a feel for what it represents. Monahan was compensated by GM for his participation, but he donated that money to another FDNY family, showing that even now, that burned and battered Chevy still helps him help others. We salute him, and we hope he keeps that truck forever. Thnks for the tip, Julius!

[Source: New York Daily News]


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  • 49 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      using nationalism to sell crap. great.
        • 6 Years Ago

        What do you mean by crap? The Silverado is among the best full size trucks. Perhaps you were thinking about the Ridgeline.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What do you mean by crap? The Silverado is among the best full size trucks. Perhaps you were thinking about the Ridgeline.

        **Well, they are OK, check out some reliability ratings on 1999-2006, then compare with another, say F150, you see all red mark and yellow marks for issues.
      • 6 Years Ago
      in before the I HATE AMERICA crowd
        • 6 Years Ago
        Nevermind the 9/11 truck (which I definitely think was tastefully done by Chevy, all you haters are ridiculous).

        There's a truck that commercial with over 2 MILLION miles! WOW!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        I don't hate America, but I do hate STUPID american companies that don't learn from their mistakes, and wrap themselves in the flag just to try to get people to buy their crappy products. YEAH! BE A PATRIOT REMEMBER 911 PURCHASE A SILVERADO!

        Yep. Because SUVs are just what we need to reduce our need for foreign oil. How stupid does GM think we are?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Bungle -

        You are absolutly correct but this commercial is not a big deal. This commercial or a picture of a Hummer, McDonalds, or Wal-Mart usually ellicit the same responses from people. Some folks just like to stir the pot and criticize for no reason other than to criticize (not the constructive stuff you are talking about). The croud likes to belive EVERYTHING is better in Europe and America can do nothing well or correct. Look at almost every Harley Davidson post, the same people bash HD in any way they can - just to be contrary. Every nation has great things about it, every nation has some problems, but there is a croud that takes every oportunity to cut on America just to be contrary. The ones that spell is with a K or an 'M. Make fun of the fictional "Soccer Mom" and claim the economy is never going to recover. Glass half empty croud.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Thanks, Ann Coulter. I love how this "I hate America" slogan has become a shortcut to thinking.

        Sorry, but if 9/11 was so important to this country, we should be using it for more than just an opportunity to start a random war, restrict civil liberties and sell trucks.

        Patriotism is great, but a true patriot doesn't blindly wave a flag and sing the national hymn; he takes his country seriously enough to learn about its history and place in the world, and question the actions of its government. Without that check on centralized power, you get something like the Bush administration (or worse), which has done little to nothing to serve this country's citizens, and everything to ruin America's standing in the rest of the world.

        Time to get rated down...
        • 6 Years Ago
        I thought it was a fantastic commercial. Why can't GM wrap itself in the flag? Toyota has done it before with their "made right here in Indiana" commercials. GM has such a great heritage and I think people forget the vital role the company has played in the US for the past 100 years.

        It's just good advertising.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Viglante:

        Actually this commercial didn't waive the patriotism flag that badly. It just shows Silverados doing what they do best: work. And you out of all people here are always pitching how misused trucks/SUVs are.
        • 6 Years Ago

        Vintage holds the record for the highest number of low or lowest ranked posts on Autoblog.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ooh yeah yeah yeah, 9-11 I said 9-11 9-11 9-11 9, 9-11 Where were you when they built a ladder to heaven?
      • 6 Years Ago
      They say the Silverados are the longest lasting trucks on the road. Too bad they didn't think about Ford before they said that.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Whatever.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't haul anything or go off-road or even have a blue-collar job, but heck, I suddenly want a Chevy truck. Should inspire a lot of people like me to buy one.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That's what we need in this country. More people who don't actually need trucks, driving them.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I've been wondering; you're not actually Adam Carolla are you?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yar, as much as I agree with you, I had to vote you down, because "the pursuit of Happiness" is one of the "certain unalienable rights" enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, not a guaranteed civil right enumerated in the Constitution.

        Vintage, STFU. Because despite all that, Yar is still right.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Just what we need, another liberal telling people they can't buy something they don't NEED. You don't NEED internet, Vintage, why are you wasting the fossil fuels it takes to sustain your computer?

        People buying what they WANT and not getting sh!t for it is part of the "pursuit of happiness" clause of the Constitution, if you've ever heard of such a thing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      From the perspective of a non-american:

      It's a good commercial. It does a good job emphasizing toughness and practical value of these trucks, and that's all it does. There was little -if any- blatant patriotism in it, and neither did it try to promote trucks as "lifestyle" products.

      If I hadn't read the article before, I'd never have made the connection with 9/11.
      • 6 Years Ago
      @ PETE

      Dude so the country has to breath dirty air simply because automakers refuse to make cars that consume less oil?

      Also, last time i checked this is a Democracy, liberals (as much as i hate them) are also citizens of USA and vote for people who do not want environment to be damaged.

      Also, automakers have been fighting CAFE for 30 years, had they spent that money on improving efficiency this very same Chevy Truck could have gotten 25+ MPG and high gas prices would not be an issue at all.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Not a democracy.
        This is a Constitutional Republic.
        It is in the Pledge of Allegiance.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The United Stated is not and never has been a democracy. It was never concieved to be one and thank goodness that it is not.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "...this very same Chevy Truck could have gotten 25+ MPG and high gas prices would not be an issue at all."

        How is that possible? There isn't a full-sized truck on the market that gets 25 mpg, made by anyone.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Cool Truck
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hats off to Monahan and people like him. Well done commercial too. People should lighten up around here.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Great Point


      Interesting, so how American is it to keep a country dependant on oil simple because a large SUV is too small for your weekly Costco trips?

      This is probably shocking to you but pick-ups get like 2 mpg, but hey at least they are not ricers.


      P.S. If Prius owners have smugs, pick up truck "guys" have small units.
        • 6 Years Ago
        This tv spot is about how long a Chevy truck can last. It has nothing to do with mpg. Some people need trucks for work, farming, hauling, towing and some people just like them. This is America, not China. Mike, don't you think it is time to turn off your computer and go play outside for a while? 6th grade is going to start back soon so you might want to get a little extra playtime in. Go play on the swing set or something.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah. I don't get the Costco thing.

        Costco is awesome. I live in yuppie central where poeple have money. We all shop at Costco. Just becuase you have money doesn't mean you spend it stupidly.

        Need diapers and baby wipes? Costco FTW.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What is your beef with Costco? I just don't get it. I don't personally shop there, but what is wrong with buying in Bulk? You save money, and hippies like yourself should love that you have to make less trips to the store, thereby saving the planet from Al Gore.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Pete: I don't think drilling for our own oil would actually make that much of a difference. What we have is not even a drop in the bucket compared to what other parts of the world (read: The Middle East) have. If you think we could feed our current rate of oil consumption for an extended time, you're mistaken. We consume more oil than is easy to comprehend- a change in how we live is needed before we can even think about being dependent only on our own oil.

        And yes, I think Mike's comment is off base. After all, I work at Costco. :) And yes, I know pickups are often needed. And they get better mileage than they are given credit for.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It wasn't the automakers that stopped drilling for oil in the US. It was the hippie liberals...
        • 6 Years Ago
        I drive a 2007 GMC Sierra SLT Flex-fuel, I average 19.5 miles per gal city and highway. Driving highway only, keeping under 2000 rpms I get up to 22 miles per gal, I'll take that anyday for a big pick-up, beats the heck out of driving a Prius.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nowhere in the commercial did GM mention 9/11 only till later was that determined via the internet. As far as I know the commercial talks about a truck starting after being burned up.

      People just like to hate on GM:
      They make more efficient trucks they get hated on. They break the N-Ring Time with a Corvette, they get hated on. What excuses will people have to hate on the Chevy Volt? A123 is about to go public sucking in 100's of millions of investment dollars from around the world, they employ 1100 people, their headquarters is in Massachusetts not Detroit. How many other companies around our country are affected directly by GM selling a single car....

      GM's a company that is doing amazing things, and holy crap 70% of their workforce is in the US, my countrymen. Makes me proud. I hope ever fire company uses a chevy, ford, or dodge to come save my burning house.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Aki:

        I didn't see it that way. A Ladder 5 sign on the truck could have been any fire dept and being that the truck was burned, could have been any fire.

        From my personal experience, the first (and only) time I saw this commercial, I had no idea the truck had anything to do with 9/11. I found out by reading this post.

        It is true that I sporadically saw it and missed the skyline part of it, but nothing jumped out and screamed 9/11!! to me.

        Additionally, this was one of a couple of other trucks featured in the same ad. Seems to me if they were trying to make a big deal out of it and focus on 9/11, they'd have solely showed this truck and at least had some sort of direct nod to 9/11, not a couple of vague ones(the skyline and ladder 5 sign).
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well written! Good job, this country (especially the internet representation) is full of very negative people.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This commercial reminds me of the "Keep America Rolling" commercials that GM ran after 9-11. They were also tastefully done.

      I also remember the headlines after the employee pricing and 0% interest campaign that GM ran. The headlines said: "How GM saved the American Economy".

      Unfortuanately those incentives helped put GM in the condition it is in today, where it was dependent on incentives for years. Unfortuanately, Americans would rather make GM out to be some faceless boogyman instead of thinking about the employees that work there.
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