Should Chevy Have Held Its Fire With Silverado “Bed Wars” Ad – by Mark Williams (Pickup – June 18, 2016)

Why would anyone want to drop more than 800 pounds of expensive landscape blocks into a pickup bed from five feet in the air? Nobody in his or her right mind would allow a guy at the local building supply store to dump a load into a bed like that. We understand that’s not the point; like many nonsensical commercials nowadays — the point is that you could if you wanted to.

As it relates to the tiresome game of one-upmanship in pickup truck advertising, that kind of self-promotion (or attack promotion) seen in the latest Chevy Silverado commercial is likely to be around for a long time to come. And don’t get us wrong; we like healthy competition and testing and we want to see the results.

In fact, on a related note, it wasn’t that long ago that we had our first chance to drive the redesigned Honda Ridgeline. Honda engineers were especially pleased to show us a rock-drop demonstration to show how the tough, scratch-proof composite bed could deal with big, heavy river rocks dumped from a front-end loader. It made a pretty good sound too, but we should note these rocks all were rounded and probably didn’t total more than 400 or 500 pounds. The bed had no scratches, dents or cracks.

I remember hearing from a Chevy Colorado marketing person not long after the Honda event that he thought the demo was a little silly because nobody would do that to their (or a friend’s) pickup. The Colorado bed is rolled steel and, without a bedliner, likely would suffer quite a few dents and scratches.

But then came the May 2016 sales results and both the Chevy and GMC full-size pickups took a big hit – down more than 11 percent combined compared to May 2015. Ouch!

GM instantly announced the return of its “Truck Month” incentive program for the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra light-duty and HD models. And right in the middle of this, Chevy was pushing hard with its “Right Tool For the Job” ad campaign that hasn’t directly called out Ford but made the target. We especially liked the commercials that offered random people the choice of a steel or aluminum cage in which to take cover when a gorilla wandered into the room: The majority chose steel (see below).

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