Super Bowl ad strikes chord
Social media carries 'So God Made a Farmer' further
By DAN WHEAT
It was so noisy in the farmhouse where Sam Krautscheid was watching the Super Bowl that most people caught only the last of a familiar voice and the end of the Dodge Ram commercial.
So Jared Omlin, owner of the place, played the ad over right away on his digital video recorder.
"Everyone was quiet and when it was done everyone was like -- 'that was the best commercial ever,'" said Krautscheid, 38, a third-generation farmer, in George, Wash. About 20 people saw the ad with him.
The commercial featured a recording of legendary radio broadcaster Paul Harvey's 1978 keynote address to the national FFA convention, "So God Made a Farmer," and photographs of farmers and ranchers from across the country.
The ad had been viewed nearly 1.4 million times on YouTube within 24 hours of the game, said Eileen Wunderlich, a spokeswoman for Dodge Ram.
Krautscheid was so impressed that he quickly used his smartphone to post on his Facebook page: "And then God made a farmer. Thank you Paul Harvey and Dodge. Best Super Bowl commercial ever. Honored and humbled. God bless our country."
By the next morning his post had 67 likes and among reactions was his sister Melissa's post: "My heart melted."
Krautscheid said his father, Jim, 62, whom he farms with, left the room to go somewhere prior to commercial. The ad ends with the image of a boy and Harvey's voice saying the boy wants to be a farmer like his dad.
"I hope my children come back to the farm, but that's their choice," Krautscheid said. "The whole commercial was less about selling a product and more about saying thank you to farmers on a national level. It was very humbling. It was pretty neat."
It was Harvey's voice that resonated with people as much as the strong words of family, work and country in his essay.
Krautscheid had heard the audio before at farm shows, but hearing it with farm images on a Super Bowl commercial was special.
It's "awesome," he said, that Dodge and others are using it to generate funds for the National FFA Organization's hunger relief efforts across the country. For every 1 million downloads of the two-minute commercial -- available at www.ramtrucks.com/keepplowing -- Ram will donate $100,000 to the FFA hunger relief fund until $1 million is reached, Wunderlich said. The promotion ends Dec. 31 or when $1 million is reached, whichever occurs first, she said.
"It was very good, very good," Dennis Strom, a Hill City, Idaho, hay farmer, said of the ad.
"I didn't realize Dodge put it on. It was a pretty good plug for agriculture. It went on for a long time. I didn't realize it was Dodge."
Toni Davis, who with her husband, Paul, owns the vast Alvord Ranch, 100 miles southeast of Burns, Ore., said they missed the game and the ad because they were out working cows. But their sons saw it later, she said, and said it was a great recognition of farmers and ranchers.
"That's something we don't get a lot of and I can't think of it happening in a Super Bowl ad," Davis said, adding her daughter, Elizabeth, 17, helped put together hunger relief packages at the FFA national convention in Indianapolis, Ind., last fall.
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