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Cringe Involuntarily At This 2007 Ford F-150 Commercial Starring Toby Keith

Gif: HotWheelsFan2002 VGCP / YouTube
Gif: HotWheelsFan2002 VGCP / YouTube

Nothing embodied the American auto industry in the 2000s like Toby Keith trying to sell a Ford F-150 on television. While the Blue Oval-loving musician appeared in numerous Ford ads across the decade, this commercial for the 2007 Ford F-150 called out to me recently.

The 30-second ad opens in media res with two stereotypical country bumpkins engaged in a Chevy vs. Dodge truck tug-of-war at a gas station. A smiling Keith arrived in a camera shot that’s just pure 2000s cinematic art, with the dueling pickups reflected to the audience through the singer’s sunglasses. He then removed his glasses and hooked his F-150 up to the tow chain, making it a three-way. What an unintentional allegory for America’sinterventionist foreign policy. The director was cooking, and he probably didn’t even know it.

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As Keith somehow pulls away the two other trucks with his F-150, a narrator reads through all the features and accolades we’re all familiar with. You know, best in class for an obscene number of years and Built Ford Tough. The ad spot naturally featured the late country music star’s anthem for the automaker, “Ford Truck Man.” The only other song by Keith that better defined the decade was “Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue,” Halliburton’s corporate anthem.

The commercial ends with Keith triumphantly stating, “That’s it, boys! Fight it out for second place.” For the country star, it was more than a paycheck. He was a third-generation Ford owner, zealously as loyal to the brand as the Stars and Stripes. According to Automotive News, Keith offered to take a pay cut to continue promoting Ford trucks during the 2008 financial crisis. While I don’t condone acts of unbridled military aggression, it’s hard not to appreciate someone who loves their truck.

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