FFA members everywhere should have a reason to celebrate this Valentine's Day as Ram Trucks announced today its "So God Made A Farmer" Super Bowl ad has surpassed 18 million views, more than exceeding the number needed to secure a $1 million donation to the FFA.
Taking less than a week to reach and surpass the 10 million view milestone equating to the $1 million donation, the ad was praised for resonating with viewers by Olivier Francois, chief marketing officer for Chrysler Group.
"We set out to create a call-to-action to support farmers and to recognize their place as the foundation of the American character and are gratified with the dialog the video sparked," Francois said in a press statement.
The two-minute commercial aired during the Super Bowl on Feb. 3 and quickly spread through the ag community. Though some ag stakeholders weren't content with the portrayal of a modern farmer, most took the ad as a benefit to the industry and praised its ability to bring farmers into mainstream conversations.
More than 250 farm, ranch and agribusiness organizations signed on to a Feb. 7 letter addressed to Chrysler Group's CEO Sergio Marchionne thanking him for the commercial's "vital message" reminding viewers that "farmers and ranchers … must not be taken for granted."
"Over time we’ve wrestled with how best to remind America that farming and ranching isn’t a 9-to-5 job, and although tough, it’s our life’s work and a life we eagerly and proudly embrace," the letter said. "We wanted you to know your commercial is very much appreciated."
The video also launched the Ram Truck brand's 2013 "The Year of the Farmer" campaign aimed at bringing national attention to the significance of the American farmer. The brand joins with the National FFA Organization and Case IH to generate funds for FFA hunger relief efforts in local communities across America.
"Ram scored a major win for American agriculture and our producers and ranchers with its 'Farmer' Super Bowl commercial and has sharply elevated the image of agriculture in the public's mind," said National FFA Organization CEO Dr. Dwight Armstrong. "This highly successful partnership with Ram through the National FFA Foundation has generated $1 million of new support for FFA that will be utilized to drive our 'Feeding the World-Starting at Home' initiative and other programs that will benefit our nearly 560,000 FFA members."
The "Farmer" video was inspired by the stirring "So God Made a Farmer" tribute delivered by legendary radio broadcaster Paul Harvey at the 1978 National FFA Convention.
Images used in the commercial were captured in the U.S. over the course of 25 days. Many more of the commissioned images will appear in a book to be published later this year, Chrysler says, and part of the proceeds of book sales will go to agriculture and hunger related efforts across the country.
Additional details and timing for the book are still being finalized.