When the 2015 Ford F-150 was launched, the company touted the strength of the truck’s nearly all-aluminum body with much fanfare, calling it “military grade” and releasing several videos showing extensive field testing, with projectiles such as high-velocity hockey pucks and golf balls, and claiming its strength equivalency to steel with lighter weight. Well, such boasts rarely go uncountered in the fullsize truck arena for long, and sure enough, Chevrolet has counter-punched with some videos of its own.
The first, a Q&A between former NFL star and actor Howie Long and Chevrolet engineer Eric Stanczak, explains why steel was chosen for the bed material. Stanczak explains a lab durability test in which a 17-pound wedge punctured the aluminum bed material of the F-150, whereas the Silverado bed did not puncture. He then says, “let’s go run our own test right now.” Two identical loads of landscape bricks are dropped into the bed of both trucks. The Silverado bed suffers a few dents and dings. However, the F-150 bed fares far worse, with several punctures of the bed floor.
The second spot, continuing Chevrolet’s recent theme of “real world” people, does the same demonstration in a warehouse area with current Chevy pitchman and host Potsch Boyd moderating the demonstrations. Predictably, the same outcome occurs, eliciting disparaging comments from the participants. Are these ads fair or realistic? You be the judge. But with hundreds of thousands of sales on the line, you can be it won’t be long before Ford prepares its counter-attack.
Ford wasted no time in issuing an official statement in response to the spots in the following statement: "When you're the market leader for 39 years, competitors sometimes try to take shots at you with marketing stunts. The fact remains that F-150's high-strength, military grade, aluminum alloy cargo box offers the best combination of strength, durability, corrosion resistance, capability, safety and fuel efficiency ever offered in a pickup. We have built nearly a million new F-150s, and our lead over the competition continues to grow."