Why People Love Dodge’s “Farmer” Commercial

Collaboration Contribution Respect


Key Point: Most of us really want to celebrate virtues like those displayed by the authentic, genuine, hard working farming community. The most popular 2013 Super Bowl commercial was Dodge‘s celebration of the American farmer and what they stand for. Pundits like the Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan, have positively commented on Dodge’s connection to RESPECT for this group of people; something we don’t hear much of these days. If you haven’t seen the commercial, please watch it here.

Of course Dodge wants to sell its products to farmers. But talking about the value provided by their customers rather than transmission torque is refreshing. What does this have to do with you and me?

I was born a farm kid. I watched my parents live the Character Triangle every day. There is no doubt where my value set comes from. If you lived on the farm, self-accountability meant putting food on the table. You essentially survived based on what YOU did, not what you felt entitled to receive. No one auto-deposited a check to your bank account. A farmer also learns to respect everything around him/her. The environment and farmer must work towards mutually reinforcing goals. It is amazing how much grain and animals have to say (not literally of course), but through how the cycle of life works. If you are not present and attentive, something dies or gets damaged. That’s why many farmers who have rarely travelled out of their county know so much about the world at large. Nature teaches them every day. And if you aren’t abundant thinking as a farmer, you will be the ultimate victim. The very essence of farming is about growing and sharing. But the weather, commodity pricing, disease, trade wars, etc. are out there teaching the meaning of humility daily. A farmer has to give back and pay forward because always being on the take will suck the nutrients out of future growth.

Character Moves:

  1. Even if you’re a city slicker like I am now, why not think and practice the essence of being a great farmer? What are you growing and giving back to the community? How do you live “farmer’s values” in the work you do?
  2. Farmer’s aren’t perfect. As an group, they can be notorious complainers, but of course we are not about perfection. What we care most about is purpose, adding value, living with character, having an impact, and inspiring others.
  3. Summing up a solid farmer: Do it now, be nice and give more. And that is the Character Triangle. And while Paul Harvey, the voice of the Farmer commercial, has long passed; his words and their meaning are eternal. And so are the values of the Character Triangle.

Farming in The Triangle,