One of three Chevy ads in Super Bowl XLVI, “2012” is that Super Bowl rarity, an extremely comparative ad knocking the competition by name. Maybe the absurdity helped NBC feel OK about approving the ad -- the pitch is that driving a Ford pickup will get you killed during the apocalypse.
Ford tried to convince NBC Sports beforehand to spike the spot, but NBC declined that request. "The advertisement met all of our criteria for standards and practices," an NBC Sports spokesman said the day after the game. Or maybe Chevy just had the kind of broader ad budget that a network appreciates very much, unlike, say, SodaStream, whose ads negatively name-checking Coke and Pepsi would be rejected in 2013 and 2014.
In a letter from Ford attorney Lynne Matuszak, Ford had also asked GM to remove “2012” from all venues, to not run it on TV and to “permanently remove the commercial from its website, its YouTube and Facebook pages,” the Detroit News reported at the time. "Ford demands that Chevrolet immediately cease and desist from making any unsubstantiated and disparaging claims regarding Ford's pickup trucks," she wrote.
GM expressed no plans to comply, and its then-CMO, Joel Ewanick, said he was positively delighted. Answering some questions on a forum sponsored by the automotive enthusiast website Jalopnik, Mr. Ewanick said, "The rivalry is there -- and has been here for longer than I've been here. Are we trying to stoke it? Yeah. Are we trying to make it more prominent? Yeah!" He said he was "surprised" by Ford's reaction. "It's the same claim we've been making for decades," he said. "Plus, it was tongue-in-cheek, for God's sake."
Director: Noam Murro. Production company: Biscuit Filmworks. Director of photography: Jeff Cutter. Managing director: Shawn Lacy. Executive producer: Colleen O'Donnell.
VP-global Chevrolet marketing: Chris Perry. Director of advertising: Kevin Mayer. Assistant director of advertising: Rich Martinek. Assistant national advertising manager: Anthony Biondo.
Agency co-chairman, creative director: Jeff Goodby. Executive creative directors: Jamie Barrett. Hunter Hindman. Associate creative director/art director: Nick Spahr. Associate creative director: Jonathan Graham. Director of broadcast production: Cindy Fluitt. Executive producer: Hilary Coate. Senior producer: Michael Damiani. Assistant producer: John Riddle. Agency music supervisor: Todd Porter. Operations director: Christine Piper. Senior business affairs manager: Karen Keoleian. Business affairs associate manager: Heidi Killeen.Send credit info to SuperBowlAdArchive@adage.com.