Chrysler’s Ram Super Bowl Commercial Composed Entirely of Photos

One of standout commercials during the Super Bowl yesterday was the above ad by Chrysler promoting its Ram line of trucks. The 2-minute ad pays tribute to farmers across the nation, and is composed entirely of photographs showing various facets of the farming industry.

In the background is a famous speech given by radio broadcaster Paul Harvey during the 1978 Future Farmers of America convention, titled “So God Made a Farmer.”


Here’s a transcript of the monologue:

And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the field, milk cows again, eat supper, then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.” So God made a farmer.

I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt and watch it die, then dry his eyes and say,’Maybe next year,’ I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from an ash tree, shoe a horse with hunk of car tire, who can make a harness out hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. Who, during planting time and harvest season will finish his 40-hour week by Tuesday noon and then, paining from tractor back, put in another 72 hours.” So God made the farmer.

God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales, yet gentle enough to yean lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-comb pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the leg of a meadowlark.”

It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed, and brake, and disk, and plow, and plant, and tie the fleece and strain the milk. Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft, strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh and then reply with smiling eyes when his son says that he wants to spend his life doing what dad does. “So God made a farmer.”

Millions of people were likely reminded of a nearly identical video they had seen on YouTube over the past couple of years, one that was uploaded by back in June 2011. That organization partnered with Chrysler for this latest Super Bowl spot to support the Future Farmers of America.

Here’s the original version:

The photographic commercial instantly generated a good deal of buzz on the Interwebs and was very well received by football fans. ABC News reports that Twitter was full of positive comments toward the video.

For its version of the video, Chrysler commissioned 10 well known photographers — including documentary photographer Kurt Markus and National Geographic photographer William Albert Allard — to capture beautiful photographs of farming.

The ad is also possibly one of the most expensive photo slideshows ever produced… The average cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad this year was upward of $4 million, which means Chrysler may have paid close to $16 million to broadcast this photo-based ad. Wowzers.

Thanks for sending in the tip, Sam and Jasmine!

  • Swade

    I’m not sure why, but those hands at 0:43. Fantastic shot.

  • Banan Tarr

    I wonder how the agnostic farmers felt about this ad :)

  • Graysmith

    “Chrysler’s Ram Super Bowl Commercial Composed Almost Entirely of Hideous HDR Photos”

    Fixed it for ya.

  • Mansgame

    Horrible HDR with clarity set to full blast.

  • ronbrinkmann

    nice subtle use of the occasional moving cloud or lensflare

  • p.rock

    Hah, I was thinking the same thing during the commercial, wondering if anyone who wasn’t a photographer would be bothered by it.
    Still loved the commercial and did think there were plenty of good photos in it.

  • Scott M.

    I was working and only heard Paul Harvey speaking last night. It was moving. Thank you for allowing me to see the photos and the whole package. We need more ads like this one.

  • YouAreNotAnArtist

    Another great example of how terrible photography has gotten these days. Oh yeah, God doesn’t exist.

  • Opie

    I’m sure this comment will endear you to a lot of people on this site. Judgmental and closed-minded are fantastically complementary attributes.

  • Zachary Larsen

    Doesn’t change the fact that Dodge makes horrid vehicles.

  • Bob Prangnell

    The majority were not HDR and the ones that were did not have “clarity set to full blast” … to see that kind of stuff you need to visit ratcliff’s site

  • Opie

    Come on. The vast majority of people watching the Super Bowl could give a damn about “good” photography A two-minute commercial composed entirely of subtle, sophisticated photographs would have most of the country looking at their watches and waiting for Beyonce to come back and tell a fart joke.

    Take the victory for what it is.

  • Darlene

    Chrysler Corp. Thank you for standing up for God & what this Country was based on & sticking with it. In my opinion, it was the best inspirational Super Bowl Commercial, it made many people stop & think. It brought tears to my eyes because it really hit my heart. Chrysler Corp. will prosper because of what they stand up for, “God!”

  • matt jones

    so does anyone have any insights on how they did the slow pans? Is that a group of stills taken on a slider from slightly different angles, or is there some magical post processing way of doing this?

  • karmaportrait

    they forgot to include the immigrant laborers

  • MarvinB7

    I found the entire thing to be visually pleasing. While traditional photography does indeed require a great deal of skill and experience, HDR images also require skill and experience to display what is simply a different (and often more true to the eye) result. HDR done correctly is photography 2.0 IMO. Who doesn’t want dynamic range closer to that of the human eye?

  • K G

    I didn’t totally hate it until the Guts*Glory logo at the end. At least there were no guns. We, as a nation, really need to move past this macho nostalgia cr@p.

  • Scott M.

    Tough crowd.

  • Ricky Turr

    If you think that America has any special place in God’s heart, you’re just deluded enough to buy a Chrysler product. Synergy in action. Sincerely, Your pal, an American atheist

  • Ricky Turr

    They were too busy buying reliable trucks, like Toyotas to care about this jingoistic nonsense

  • Mary Louise Chamoun

    I personally think it was absolutley gorgeous…the photography and the tribute to farmers!!!

  • rich

    ad which probably hit their target. But all I saw were images from the
    1970s. Harvey delivered that speech in 1978 as farms all over the
    country were dying. Agribusiness convinced all the little guys to take
    on huge debt and then killed them. Farmers scrambled to “get big or get
    out.” Harvey was trying to wake America up to the rural ghetto that was
    being created. Nice job Dodge.

  • Jon Boyes

    So…. $16m for the media buy. Anyone know how much the photographers were paid?

  • Shelpix

    Best Super Bowl commercial by far. Certainly beat the GoDaddy sludge.

  • Opie

    Good lord dude, give it a rest. I generally share your opinion, but thankfully I don’t have my head shoved so far up my own ass that I think people need to hear about it. It’s a commercial. You don’t have to believe in god any more than you believe a goat likes Doritos.

    Spewing crap like this is why people hate atheists. Do the cause a favor and shut up.

  • Bartek Nowakowski

    What absolute cheese.

  • Matt

    I kind of thought that, had a 99 ram and did not really like it. I tried very hard to kill it so I could get a different truck. But, the thing would not die. The maintenance over 12 years was not significant. I got rid of it, but only by someone hitting me and totaling it.

  • jgphoto

    I can’t believe no one has even asked who were the photographers who contributed the images for the commercial. So I will. Who are the photographers? Anyone have a clue?

  • jgphoto

    OK, I got the answer. According to A Photo Editor, Rob Haggart, the photographers are: Andy Anderson, William Allard, Jim Arndt, Daniel Beltra, Mark Gooch, Andy Mahr, Kurt Markus, David Spielman, Matt Turley and Olaf Veltman

  • lizzard

    I am live in argeintina and I am a farmer. I found this add very touching, the speech, the narrators voice and the amazing pictures; all contributed to a wonderful experience. I wish we had ads like these in my country, but unfortunately we are not even close. The United States of America is a wonderful country,; I had the priviledge to live there for 8 years. It provided me with an education, with wonderful times and with the chance to encounter incredibly warm people from coast to coast. I miss it very much, but my roots are here now. Hopefully one day I will be able to go back and reminise and my younger days and the beauties of America.

  • Rob

    They left out the part ” and finish a hard week’s work with a five mile drive to church” part of Paul Harvey’s original monologue. To bad, but I guess they are trying to keep “most” people happy.

  • Kendrick Disch

    i scrolled through the comments looking for thoughts about that too… my thought with this type of effect is that they separate the image into different layers, take it all into after effects, and then animate the top layers (the foreground subjects) to slide around at a slightly different speed than the background layer. This would only work on certain scenes where the masking could be hidden by a generic background. I haven’t actually tried this, but it’s my guess. Anyone else have any thoughts about it?

  • vonZinger

    Actually, Farmers make themselves … god has nothing to do with it, but that’s another story …