Ford found no reason to chuckle at some of the commercial's claims, "particularly around durability." One in particular comes from a character that says of their now-deceased, F-150-driving pal, "Dave didn't drive the longest-lasting most dependable truck on the road. Dave drove a Ford."
Ford spokesman Mike Levine says his company has more trucks with 250,000-plus miles on the road than any other brand, which would appear to contradict the small print that appears in the "2012" ad that reads, "Dependability based on longevity: 1981-2011 full-size pickup registrations." Ford says its lawyers will decide what to do (if anything) after the ad airs during tonight's game, but Chevy's legal minions must have vetted the spot closely well before time.
Or Ford could take Chevy marketing honcho Joel Ewanick up on his offer and bide its time. Said Ewanick, "We can wait until the world ends, and if we need to, we will apologize."
Chevy to Air ad Despite Objections from Ford
DETROIT – Last evening Chevrolet was asked by Ford Motor Co. to stop showing its Super Bowl commercial for the Silverado, which pitches the truck as the "longest-lasting, most-dependable" full-size pickup on the road.
The ad, called "2012", shows the Silverado navigating a completely over-the-top, outrageous version of the devastation and destruction predicted to occur this year by the Mayan calendar includes giant attack robots, meteors and frogs falling from the sky.
A group of friends, who are Silverado owners, makes its way to the designated meeting spot but notice one of their buddies is missing. The payoff of the ad is that their missing friend, however, did not drive a Chevrolet. Instead, he drove a Ford and doesn't appear to have made it to the meeting point.
At issue is how "longest lasting" and "most durable" is defined or measured.
Ford sent a letter to NBC requesting the ad not run in the game. It also sent a letter to Chevy asking the automaker to pull the ad from the game, its websites and its Youtube channel. "Ford demands that Chevrolet immediately cease and desist from making any unsubstantiated and disparaging claims regarding Ford's pickup trucks." The letter warned Ford could take further actions. "If Chevrolet does not comply with the above terms prior to the start of the Super Bowl, then Ford will take all appropriate steps to enforce and protect its reputation."
"We stand by our claims in the commercial, that the Silverado is the most dependable, longest-lasting full-size pickup on the road. The ad is a fun way of putting this claim in the context of the apocalypse," said General Motors Global Chief Marketing Officer Joel Ewanick. "We can wait until the world ends, and if we need to, we will apologize. In the meantime, people who are really worried about the Mayan calendar coming true should buy a Silverado right away."