This time on Vintage Ad Break, we’re diving into GMC’s archives for a vintage truck commercial from the 1980s. Specifically, in 1984, GMC rolled out the slogan “a truck you can live with.” On the surface, it seems mediocre at best, but represents something a bit more profound.
Trucks were slowly becoming less of a workhorse and more of an alternative to the family sedan. Pickups could seat more than just two individuals, they offered immense cargo capacity and utility, and Americans have always had a love affair with a do-it-yourself ideal. In 1984, GMC tried to represent it all.
The ad opens with the jingle “Pick up your life in a new GMC,” further bolstering the do-it-all and do-it-yourself aura. We’re treated to the GMC lineup’s capability and its ability to go places and carry things passengers cars simply couldn’t. Perhaps most importantly, the ad shows regular folks driving and using the GMC trucks—not farmers or other professions. GMC showed women could pack the bed with flowers and men could pilot one to work and also get dirty work done on the weekends.
That idea is in full swing today. Pickups aren’t just for work anymore, and they represent status for many drivers. That’s never been more apparent with GMC’s Denali sub-brand, which continues to print money for General Motors and usher buyers into leather-lined, chrome-trimmed pickups.
Have a look at the ad right up above.