Hey, I’m Really Lifting Hay!

25 Jan

We in the automotive business know we might receive the occasional negative phone call. Recently, we did, and the woman on the other end of the phone was furious. Her complaint was about one of the TV ads created for Butler Ford. The commercial features a gleaming white F-150 King Ranch and was filmed on a ranch west of Ashland.
(View the ad here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zxbXn_73Po). Our intent was to highlight not only the truck’s beauty but its payload, durability, strength and efficiency. That meant, as spokesperson, I learned not only about the truck but also how to buck hay.

We figured it would be fairly obvious the ranch setting was intended to frame the F-150 and highlight the gorgeous Ashland scenery. The caller took issue with… the hay. She felt that there was no way that I, being all of 5’ 3” tall and nowhere near a body builder, could have lifted those bales of hay and chucked them into the back of the truck. She knows grown men, she said, who can’t do that. That single perceived inconsistency killed the whole ad for her. Keep in mind the ranch was real, the barn was real, the horses, the cattle, the hay… all real. In her defense, I understand that farms bale hay in both 2 and 3 strands, some with wire and some with twine. Hay from Klamath comes with three strands and would be way to heavy for me to lift – upwards of 100lbs, while much of the Rogue Valley grass hay comes in two strands, wrapped with twine and runs around 50lbs. This is the hay that I lifted for the commercial. And I lifted it over and over again until I got it right – it was truly all me.

Our intent is never to offend and, I understand our caller was simply processing information based on her experiences. If all she knows is triple wrapped bales, then sure, our ad might look questionable. I learned a whole lot during our shoot – about the hard work it takes to maintain a ranch. I just wish I’d had the opportunity to share my experience with our caller… then we both could have learned something.