Chevrolet's Silverado pickup truck's new ad campaign takes a dig at rival Ford F-150.
The latest ad demonstrates the impact strength of the Silverado's steel body. However, the company also took the opportunity to compare the steel bed of the vehicle against the aluminum bed used in the Ford F-150.
In one of the videos, Chevrolet shows the Silverado and F-150 parked next to each other. The ad shows concrete blocks thrown on the bed of the two pickups. Analyzing the results, the Chevy vehicle received far less damage in comparison with the Ford truck.
The video also shows a Chevrolet engineer dropping a big toolbox at an angle on the bed of the two pickups. The drop literally created a hole in the aluminum body of the F-150 while the Silverado received a dent.
The Chevy ad campaign is big and airing online and on TV during major sporting events. The ad is also shown at 2,400 movie theaters in the U.S.
The U.S. truck market is dominated by Ford and General Motors (GM). Ford accounted for 36.8 percent and GM 35.5 percent in the overall sales of trucks in the U.S. from January to May this year.
Aluminum is light when compared with steel and results in fuel efficiency. Ford has used military-grade aluminum in the F-150 but it remains less resilient than steel. The vehicle maker also claims that the metal used in the pickup has met or exceeded durability testing. Ford also claims that less than 1 percent of F-series owners have complained of the aluminum bed.
Mike Levine, a Ford spokesman, noted that the company has been the market leader in the segment for over three decades and it is not unusual that rivals are taking a shot at one of its vehicles with marketing offensive.
"The fact remains that F-150's high-strength, military grade, aluminum alloy cargo box offers the best combination of strength, durability, corrosion resistance, capability, safety and fuel efficiency ever offered in a pickup," says Levine.
Levine also highlighted that Barrick Gold Corp. has ordered 35 Ford trucks only after testing the aluminum bed's strength. John Thornton, the chairman of Barrick Gold, has been a Ford customer for about two decades.
Market experts suggest that customers normally don't like attack ads but these ads do work. It remains to be seen if the latest Chevy ad campaign has any negative impact on the sales of Ford pickups in the near term.
Check out the impact strength test of the Chevrolet Silverado and the Ford F-150.