General Motor’s Silverado Super Bowl ad creates tension with Ford

Article by Anita Panait, on February 6, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI may have featured the clash between the two best American football teams in the U.S., New York Giants and the New England Patriots. The main event, however, may have belonged to Detroit’s largest carmakers – Ford and General Motors. The clash between the two carmakers was sparked by GM’s Chevrolet commercial aired during the Feb. 5 championship. 

The advertisement features a group of Chevrolet Silverado who survived the 2012 apocalypse predicted by the Mayan calendar. The last person to arrive at the meet-up asked “Where’s Dave?” One of them answered that Dave didn’t make it because he didn’t drive the Silverado, “the longest-lasting, most dependable truck on the road,” adding that their friend “drove a Ford.”

Ford took offense of the ad and sent GM a letter requesting its rival to pull the commercial out.  "We've been the leader in the truck market for 35 years. We will absolutely defend our leadership,” Jim Farley, Ford global vice president of marketing sales and service, said, adding that the letter was intended to challenge the assertion toward that type of claim.

GM confirmed they received the letter. Joel Ewanick, GM marketing chief, expressed no plans to withdraw the ad. Ewanick said that GM stands by its claims in the commercial, that the Silverado “is the most dependable, longest-lasting full-size pickup on the road.” 

Ewanick added that the ad is a fun way of putting GM’s claim in the context of the apocalypse. He also remarked that if needed, GM will apologize when the world ends. He also cracked that people who believe in the Mayan prediction should buy a Silverado right away.

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