Chevrolet targets their audience through storytelling

Even though the Chevrolet Silverado Commerical of 2012 is an advertisement, viewers may walk away from this commercial feeling touched by a sentimental, father-son story. Within 62 seconds, we are told the story of a young boy who idolizes his father, although his father is away. Chevrolet most likely chose to tell the story of this young boy because it appeals to the majority of viewers and tugs at their heart strings. However, an adorable story does not always bring in sales, which is why the tale conceals a more specific, targeted audience to influence their purchasing power.

The commercial begins with the young boy playing with a ken-like, lumberjack doll who drives a silver, model truck. We are guided through each excursion the lumberjack endures on his way home, including towing a women’s trailer, leveling a Space Shuttle, and loading monkeys into “heavy” barrels. It is not until the supposedly real-life father pulls into the driveway, driving a Chevrolet Silverado, that we understand this lumberjack is in place of the boy’s father.

The reason why this story works as an advertisement is not because the son is engaging with his toy trucks, it is because while playing with the toy trucks, the son idealizes the amount of work his father does by driving a Chevrolet Silverado. The story makes sense to the viewers, since we all were children at some point and remember making up alternative worlds in our minds. When we see a young boy choose to create a story where his father is the hero, it makes their father-son relationship more credible.

While the sentimental backstory to this advertisement will hit a large viewing audience, it will not push someone towards purchasing a Chevrolet Silverado. Although it may seem as though Chevrolet is targeting a vast audience, they are actually only targeting a specific, workforce audience. Each task that the lumberjack doll endures has something to do with heavy lifting and each time the lumberjack doll accomplishes a task, he moves onto the next, even larger obstacle. These tough jobs are emphasized when the young boy says, “these things are heavy,” when unloading the monkey barrels.

Heavy lifting of the toy truck may seem unethical at first. In the commercial, the toy truck adjusts a Space Shuttle before lift-off and in reality, the Chevrolet Silverado would not be able to physically accomplish this. However, the storyline of the advertisement is then used as integrity, because the only time we see a Chevrolet Silverado adjust a Space Shuttle is when the child is playing. Most viewers realize a child’s mind is full of exaggeration and therefore will assume that by adjusting a Space Shuttle, a Chevrolet Silverado can lift “just about” anything.

Successfully, Chevrolet then portrays a lifestyle to fathers in the working force, where their sons admire the amount of work they complete in a day behind the wheel of a Silverado and arrive home, just in time for dinner.


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