With a famous voice like that, “Sam Elliot narration” is almost a commercial concept in and of itself. It carries with it the immediate association of anything having to do with cowboys, and the Richards Group is leaning hard on the ethos of the old West with a big new campaign for the Dodge Ram, which has been utilizing Elliot’s voice since 2006.
In order to separate the Ram as a brand on its own apart from Dodge (which has used the vocal talents of Dexter‘s Michael C. Hall for a somewhat bizarre W+K-helmed campaign for Caravan), the Chrysler Group is avoiding using the Dodge name at all in these spots. CEO of Ram Fred Diaz explains the approach in a statement, saying, “There’s a distinct separation between what Dodge means and what Ram means.” It’s an interesting strategy, considering the brand’s biggest competitor (the F-150) certainly doesn’t stray from its Ford branding.
So, is this lavishly produced spot the kind of advertising that’s going to let Ram stand on its own feet? Before you answer that, consider another Sam Elliot-narrated vignette, this time concerning actual guts and glory (I still tear up when I watch that).