What does a Chevrolet Silverado have to do with the end times? Two words: Super Bowl.
The new Chevy ad first appeared during an intermission in the first quarter of the Super Bowl. It now has some Christians and conspiracy theorists pondering with what kind of end times message Chevy is trying to send.
"There's been some criticism, especially coming from Ford, that asked us to remove the ad," Cristi Vasquez, Chevrolet communications manager, told CP. "Our claims [about the truck] are valid and we live by our word."
Playing to the tune of "Looks Like We've Made It," the ad begins with a fluttering newspaper with the headline "2012 Mayan Apocalypse, Will World End Today?" stuck to a traffic light as the Chevy Silverado is seen emerging from a pile of rubble with a man and his dog inside looking out at the apocalyptic destruction. With the likings of giant killer robots, a crashed alien spacecraft, and gargantuan meteors, Chevy seems to be anticipating an epic finale come the end.
"A lot of people believe the calendar will end and so we decided to put a humorous spin on it," Vasquez said. "We wanted to relay the message that the Chevy Silverado is the longest-lasting, most dependable full-size pickup on the road. That was our main point."
The good-humored ad, called "2012," ends with a group of Silverado owners making their way to a designated meeting spot, while one friend indicates that their buddy didn't make it because he didn't drive a Chevy; he drove a Ford.
The ad makes an allusion to the Bible when it had frogs raining down at the end, reminiscent of the biblical plague from the book of Exodus. This biblical reference was seen as distasteful by some viewers, with an online blogger posting, "what's with the frogs at the end of the commercial?"
Yet, the ad, according to Chevy, is "a completely over-the-top and outrageous version of the devastation and destruction predicted to occur this year by the Mayan calendar…"
"We stand by our claims in the commercial, that the Silverado is the most dependable, longest-lasting, full-size pickup on the road. The ad is a whimsical way of putting this claim in the context of the apocalypse," Joel Ewanick, the global chief marketing officer of GM, said in a statement in response to objections by Ford. "In the meantime, people who are really worried about the Mayan calendar coming true should buy a Silverado right away."
Another "long-lasting" imagery that the ad purposely included was a Chevy owner offering his Twinkies to his friends, conveying the idea that the Silverado is long-lasting and durable like Twinkies.
Interesting, a spokesperson for Hostess, the manufacturer of Twinkie, said the product only has a shelf life of 26 days, counter to the misconception that the golden sponge cake is eatable for years.
Despite critics, Chevy's ad is more or less a parody of Hollywood-imagined doomsday scenarios, and should be taken for the over-the-top, for laughs only ad it is.