Does Chevrolet know its cattle breeds?

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What’s the difference between a Holstein and a Longhorn?

According to Chevrolet’s latest Silverado commercial, the answer is "nothing."

“A man and his truck and a broken fence. And a lost calf. And the heart to search for as long as it takes. And the truck that lets him search for as long as it takes,” the commercial’s narration says in the 30-second clip.

Click the video player above to see the commercial or here to see it on YouTube. 

The storyline features a hardworking rancher who, while checking his herd of Longhorn cattle in the midst of a rainstorm, finds a calf missing. With the help of his 2014 Chevy Silverado, the rancher finds his calf – a Holstein calf.

This storyline may tug at the heartstrings of the general public, but farmers and ranchers will likely see it differently. A quick look on the truck’s YouTube and Facebook pages shows that farmers and ranchers aren’t letting Chevy off the hook.

“Yep, that is a Holstein. Silly Chevy,” one Chevy fan commented on its YouTube page.

“Chevy I have nothing against your trucks but this is pretty sad. You show Longhorn cows and then a Holstein (aka dairy breed) calf. The idea is inspiring and as a rancher I have spent many times looking for a lost calf and salute those who do this for a living but you could have done just a little homework to give this some reality and make this not look like a failed attempt to answer the Dodge "And God made a Farmer" commercial which had some reality issues of its own,” another person commented.

The commercial is only the latest in a series by Chevy to feature rural America. However, as rancher  Ryan Goodman wrote in a blog post, the first of Chevrolet’s ads fails to have the “emotional, pull-at-the-heart-strings response” as Dodge Ram’s “So God Made a Farmer” Super Bowl commercial.

Dodge Ram’s now-iconic commercial not only declared 2013 the “year of the farmer;” it also pledged to donate to the National FFA Organization for every view for its advertisement. It took less than a week to reach 10 million views, earning the FFA a $1 million donation.

Other pro-agriculture car commercials include the Toyota Tundra and Ford F-150.

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August, 21, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Maybe it was an embryo calf.....? :)

Colorado  |  August, 21, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Perhaps the rancher had a Holstein on his ranch to nurse bucket calves. Maybe, as Delon said it was an embryo calf. Maybe it wasn't actually a Holstein, but a crossbred Maine-Anjou. The answer is who cares! We have an ad that actually puts farming and ranching in a good light and we have to nit-pick one small detail that has no real bearing on anything.

Lee Mattix    
August, 21, 2013 at 02:15 PM

Typical of the hokie ads produced by corporations since I was a child. One will always find intelligence insulting ads in almost every ag publication touting products that will save the world, make you look tough, smart, and wealthy because you use the featured product. How dumb to they think we are? Surely not as dumb as they are. Oh well, it pays the bills for the publishers.

Colorado  |  August, 21, 2013 at 03:29 PM

Well said Ksubrent61. We had a Holstein on our ranch to help with nursing. As a matter of fact we had 6 or 7 different breeds in one pasture. I wish I had the time to waste that these people do on piddly garbage like this. "GROAN"

August, 21, 2013 at 03:54 PM

um... at minute 31 it sure looks like a Holstein in front of the longhorns, but as stated, Who Cares!

August, 21, 2013 at 03:59 PM

sorry at second :06 in front of the longhorns, disregard time in previous statement.

Texas  |  August, 21, 2013 at 06:57 PM

I'd rather see this commercial than Chipotle's or Panera Breads.

August, 21, 2013 at 11:21 PM

Has anyone ever heard of grafting a calf to a different cow? The commercial makes sense. If the cow didn't take the calf and let it suck then the calf would be wandering off by itself.

August, 22, 2013 at 09:41 AM

Every spring, at least one neighbor asks if we will sell them a bull calf to put on a cow that lost a calf. This situation in the commercial is completely plausable. I doubt the producers did it on purpose though.

Texas  |  August, 22, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Guess the neighbors bull got through the fence!

Tami Radney    
Wood River, NE  |  August, 22, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Additionally; the setting implies "remote" - there are mountains in the background - not the kind of country most cattle people associate with grazing Longhorns. TO tug at my country heartstrings it'd been a lot better to have, say, black baldies and a B/W calf. I suppose to get a "tame" calf to carry they chose a Holstein but it's a lame ad that shows a lack of attention to details. maybe Joe Public likes it; but I'm an ag person and it does drop my impression of Chevy.

August, 22, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Sure looks like there is one Holstein in the heard at six seconds into the video to the right of all the rest of the cows.

SD  |  August, 22, 2013 at 02:47 PM

With Class III milk barely $16.00 for 2014, the dairy farmer just gave it away hoping he won't have to milk it someday. Still impossible to beat the Dodge pickup-Paul Harvey commercial from last Super Bowl.

Marcus Kephart    
Rural Kansas  |  August, 22, 2013 at 02:58 PM

Cut him some slack , Jack ! It IS possible to have more than one breed of cow on your ranch ! I have Holstien/Angus mix , a red bull with horns came out of a black Angus, and an all black calf came out of my all white Charolai. And the little calves are easier to find using my 4-wheeler.

Indiana  |  August, 23, 2013 at 06:57 AM

Oh come on, its not just the breed... he drives the road looking for a calf? and then when he gets out od the truck its right there? hate to be snarky, but Chevy trying to grab the spotlight from Dodge and it wont work..

Dave G    
Colorado  |  August, 23, 2013 at 08:11 AM

I have longhorn cattle, a lot of my corriente x longhorn look like that calf. My LH cattle do better on remote country than any of my beef cattle. I used 2 black and white CORRIENTE bulls several years ago, a lot of the ropers I sell too think they are dairy crosses also, perhaps all of you don't know what kind of a calf that is. I also do not do any thing with my LH calfs until weaning, the cows will tear you up, so they probably had tj get something safe

North Carolina  |  August, 23, 2013 at 11:44 AM

My husband and I saw the commercial earlier this week and chuckled when we saw the Holstein calf. I believe most of us beef cattle producers are more apt to notice stuff like that, but we have to remember we are in the minority compared to the general population. However, if the company wants to gain market share by targeting farmers and ranchers as potential buyers, it would be beneficial to them to have an agriculture expert (or in this case, a beef cattle expert) on hand at the set to catch stuff like this. Or, at least run the commercial by some aggies before launching it. The commercial has a good story line...and no doubt, has generated some conversation.

August, 23, 2013 at 06:21 PM

Kind of like the viagra commercial where the guy gets stuck in a mud puddle but does not put it in 4 wheel drive!

August, 24, 2013 at 06:56 PM

It cost a lot for Chevrolet to make this commercial. Too bad they didn't do it right the first time. There may be a lot of reasons why that is a Holstein calf, but this is a movie and it could have been done with a longhorn calf to be believable without question. I am with the person that said it would have been better with a black baldy in the mountain foothill location. Chevrolet just tried to outdo Dodge, and failed (again).

Maureen Conklin    
Rochester. ny  |  August, 25, 2013 at 08:22 PM

Do you really need to "split hairs" on a good ad??? I am well a quainted with Holstein, jersey, etc. Get a life! I am also an "ovine" expert!!!

Heidi Van Boven    
Mabton, WA  |  August, 26, 2013 at 12:22 PM

"So what if Chevy puts a Holstein calf in a commercial, with Longhorns? It's not like there was a big sign in the commercial saying the rancher ONLY raised Longhorns?" Real ranchers...they don't give a rip about something like this. <====Chevy owner AND Holstein calf ranch owner.

T. Runyan    
Stillwater, OK  |  August, 27, 2013 at 12:11 PM

I agree with Kris 100%. Perhaps a specific cow of the rancher's lost her offspring during birth, so rather then keeping that specific cow who won't generate income through her progeny for a complete year. He possibly may have contacted a local dairy and obtained a young Holstein bull. Now that specific cow of the ranchers raises and nurses Holstein calf. This is not uncommon because Dairy Cows do not raise there calves after birth because (there milk is for consumer purposes only) and young male Holstein bulls calves are generally inexpensive after birth. So in theory Chevy isn't being "misinformed, "careless," or, "ignorant" with their advertisement. Be respectful my friends of the fact they are reaching out to production agriculture in a positive way while still keeping their commercials honest and realistic. Great post Kris.

T. Runyan    
Stillwater, OK  |  August, 27, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Of course Chevy wants to compete with Dodge's Awesome Super Bowl commercial. That's what competition is all about.

T Lockhart    
Stillwater, Ok  |  August, 30, 2013 at 12:06 PM

I believe it is good that a large cooperation like Chevrolet is supporting and respecting farmers and ranchers and their way of life. However, I think the person running the ad doesn't have the background needed to put the calf with the cow.

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