I found something unexpected to be thankful about over the holiday weekend: Truck advertising that doesn't succumb to political correctness.
No, it isn't pre-pubescent bathroom humor with sexual double-entendres like Dodge used a couple of years ago in TV commercials for the Durango.
It's just tell-the-truth-with-a-little-bit-of-attitude advertising tucked in my year-end issue of Field & Stream. Chevrolet inserted a 12-page booklet titled Men, Women and the Truck, which was tipped onto a one-page ad for the Silverado pickup.
Inside the booklet, Chevy's approach is clear: Guys love trucks because it's in their genes.
The first message begins, "Girls play with dolls. Boys play with trucks. Let's start there."
It gets better: "Men are born with the horsepower gene. (Just as some women are born with the shoe gene.)"
Ooh, what you said!
No doubt some will think that's a perverse, throwback example of misdirected macho.
But who cares?
Funnyman Tim Allen has made a career out of material like that. Besides, the folks who object to the ad don't buy pickups.
Ninety percent of Silverado buyers are male, with an average age of 49 and household income of $70,000.
That lines up well with Field & Stream readers, 82 percent of whom are male, with a median age of 42 and household income of $55,000. Guys who read Field & Stream like hunting and fishing, and a lot of them own trucks.
No wonder the December-January issue also carried two-page spreads for the Ford F-150 and Nissan Frontier pickups, single-page ads for the Honda Ridgeline and Toyota Tundra pickups and two-page spreads for the Dodge Durango and Mitsubishi Endeavor SUVs.
Yes, yes, I know some women buy trucks because they like or need them.
And, yes, some critics or analysts might suggest trying harder to persuade more women to buy trucks, even the ones who don't hunt or fish. That would be plus business, and all you need is a few more truck ads in some of women's magazines, right?
Maybe. But marketing folks like to play the percentages, which is why you see more ads for sedans and crossover vehicles in women's magazines and ads for pickups in hunting and fishing magazines.
Hey, did you ever try fitting a gun rack in a sedan?
You may e-mail Edward Lapham at [email protected]