lunchbox 12

Saying the quiet part out loud: the evolution of truck advertising. And revisiting an old spark from the early 2000s.

lunchbox 12
opening frames of a recent short film for the Ford F-150 Raptor R. via Ford

Today’s clip is the full Grindhouse-inspired Ford F-150 Raptor R desert film, coming soon to a theatre near you. I think people will love it. As the world becomes inundated with Ford F-150 Raptor R advertising, consider how we got here:

This is the short film, not the longer, more broadly appealing video you may have seen. via Ford

“The so-scary-it's-fun nature of the vehicle made us think of people packing into theaters to watch horror movies, and it all kind of took off from there. Put simply, Raptor R and horror movies are both ways people scare themselves on purpose,” said W+K copywriter Jake Thompson in an interview with advertising publication Muse. Then:

“If we wanted to make a truck commercial, we would've hired somebody who makes truck commercials.”

What I saw:

  • An overweight middle-aged white man;
  • in a $100,000 truck;
  • wake up confused and alone;
  • in his black leather gimp suit;
  • piss himself in fear,
  • then bound away in terror.

I didn’t see the Raptor R confronting or overcoming anything, or being an enjoyable place to be. It looks like where your soul becomes trapped after shotgunning a case of Monster Energy.

The shots? Beautiful. Sound design? Epic. Stunts? Great. Direction? Incredible. Message? Impotent.

Worse, the disclaimer includes the tounge-in-cheek line, “Do not attempt to unsee any of the activities you are about to see”. O k

Like I said, people will love it. I know this because those hired to make “truck commercials” are somebodies who are typically working lower down in the marketing funnel, and tasked with stuffing as many features, benefits, and broad appeal into any and all content. This R spot is not that, its brief is as singular as a hunting rifle: to slay.

Imagine going from this desert horror show…to an electric F-150 Lightning powering a talented artist in a concrete pit as she tattoos ‘FRUNK’ onto a leather seat. (Actually.)

Consider the giddy automotive press and a hefty media budget to pump RAPTOR R onto any and all screens for the near future, and how the R will inevitably tear a new one into pop culture. No shame, it is The Point Of All Of This advertising.

Then what is the point of adding the disclaimer “Ford is committed to the preservation of the environment and treading lightly”?

Even if it meant anything anymore, who would believe it?

ford raptor r apparel and swag
proposed apparel for the Raptor R. Again, I think people will 🖤 it. via Muse

Astute reader feedback on the Patak Motors Rodster featured in issue #11: “They could do with a little less male privilege in their copy, methinks.” Exactly! -mb