Understated approach...

Understated approach

In two words or less? No flash.

That’s how you would have to describe the new campaign for General Motors’ GMC Trucks out of agency MacLaren:Lintas.

Damast Gordon and Associates director Dan Izzard spent six days in Calgary on a pair of spots – ‘Rancher’ and ‘Pipeline,’ which went to air earlier this month – that are understated, sure, but also compelling to watch.

In the 60-second version of ‘Rancher’ (each spot has two versions, a 30 and a 60), the opening shots of the landscape, sweeping and panoramic, are beautifully done – the word epic comes to mind – thanks to the camera stylings of Nicholas Allen-Woolfe and aerial stylings of Vancouver helicopter pilot Geoff Palmer. (You find yourself thinking this type of thing would have made Gone With the Wind a much better movie.)

‘Rancher’ takes on a different, gentle approach to selling trucks as it chronicles a human story, that, although spoken in the voice of the rancher, would not be considered testimonial.

Like his 11-year-old gmc truck, the rancher is weathered, worn and dusty but still gets the job done. As he lets us in on his ‘don’t fix what ain’t broke’ philosophy, the viewer accompanies him on his daily chores. The copyline of the spot says it best: ‘Over the long haul, nothing beats the strength of experience.’

Like ‘Rancher,’ ‘Pipeline’ is set against the sublime Calgary flatlands, but unlike the first spot, it emphasizes a shiny, new red truck. As the oil riggers work on the pipeline, the red truck approaches. Impressed by the piece of machinery, the riggers try and get a better look at who’s driving it.

This juxtaposition of shots of the approaching truck and the curious riggers (‘That can’t be Hank!’) is humorously done. Izzard’s ability for bringing out the best in talent shines through here. The spot ends with a rigger saying, ‘He won’t let me in. I have to take off my boots first.’

In ‘Rancher’ and ‘Pipeline,’ Izzard’s style is fluid and easy as he creates a natural pace and a natural portrayal of action and actors.

MacLaren:Lintas credits go to creative director Donald Murphy, art director is Bob Anderson, writers Sylvia Hughes and Jonathon Frier. Karen Haycox produced for the agency.

The scores on the spots are deftly handled by The Einstein Bros. Norm Odell of Flashcut Editing handled the off-line edit and the spots were all pulled together in the on-line suite at Command Post and Transfer. JL