Ram’s “Premature Electrification” Was the Perfect Ad for the Wrong EV Future

The Super Bowl spot spoofed erectile dysfunction drugs to promote the 1500 REV, an upcoming electric pickup truck

Jason Jones in "Premature Electrification," the Super Bowl ad for the Ram 1500 REV, an electric pickup truck
Funny ad, but you still don't need that truck.

You probably already made your own ranking of the best Super Bowl commercials during the big game last night, and there are plenty of lists out there if you want to compare notes on Dave Grohl vs. Ben Stiller. But if we’re talking specifically about the car ads, there’s one that seems to be rising above the rest. 

During the fourth quarter of the Chiefs-Eagles, Ram unveiled a spot called “Premature Electrification,” a promo for their upcoming electric pickup truck, the Ram 1500 REV. It’s a spoof on ads for men’s sexual health drugs, for conditions like premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction, but swapping in concerns about electric vehicles instead of concerns about virility. 

After posting the ad on YouTube early on February 12, Ram’s video already has over 270,000 views and around 300 comments. Meanwhile, GM’s commercial has around 500,000 views and 130 comments even though it’s been up for almost a week, and the full-length Kia and Jeep ads have around 160,000 and 70,000 views, respectively. 

Yes, it’s actually funny! But what’s even more significant is that Ram, whose pickups consistently battle for second place with the Chevrolet Silverado among the country’s best-selling vehicles, has made a perfect ad for their customer base. Instead of shying away from concerns about EVs, especially among trucks — concerns like range and towing performance — the brand faced them head-on, assuaging fears with humor and a deep-voiced everyman. They also turned these qualms into a joke that their customers can potentially wield against other EV owners. (Oh, are you worried that your Ford F-150 Lightning won’t be able to tow that trailer? I don’t have those sorts of problems with my Ram 1500 REV…) 

This is all hypothetical, though, as we don’t know the full specs of the Ram 1500 EV just yet; though you can make a reservation for the truck, which is slated to begin deliveries at the end of 2024. However, Ram brand CEO Mike Koval Jr. is confident the model will outperform other electric pickups, saying, “We are on an exciting electrification journey that will see Ram push past the competition in areas customers care about the most: range, payload, towing and charge time.”

Ram Takes the Tesla Approach to Electric Trucks, Not the Ford
We finally got a look at Ram’s EV concept, but is it what pickup buyers want?

The problem is that a world dominated by gargantuan electric trucks is not the future we should be working towards. Yes, we need pickups that are powered by alternative forms of energy that emit fewer carbon emissions; what we don’t need is more men believing that the EV they need to drive is a multi-ton, energy-intensive behemoth. We’re already in a place in the U.S. where many pickup owners freely admit they don’t actually need vehicles that can tow trailers and haul construction materials, and if all those people switch over to heavier electric trucks, which on the whole have a much larger carbon footprint than smaller electric SUVs, crossovers and sedans, we’re going to be shooting ourselves in the foot while attempting to tackle climate change.

Just take a look at Bloomberg’s Green rating for different EV models, which we recently wrote about, and which in the most basic sense looks at energy efficiency and battery size (the main driver of a vehicle’s carbon footprint). Among the bottom six standard models, three of them are the three electric trucks currently available for purchase (the Rivian R1T, sixth-to-last; Ford F-150 Lightning, second-to-last; and GMC Hummer EV Pickup, last place). When the Ram 1500 REV eventually comes to market, it stands to reason it will also be down at the bottom. 

Of course people want convenience and performance, and in the electric future that’s currently rolling out, they also want EVs that can do everything their gas-powered counterparts can. But if the automotive sector is going to have a considerable impact on cutting carbon emissions, we also need to recognize that every American having a tank-sized electric truck in their driveway is not the best way forward. 

Yes, fellow American men, you can drive a Hyundai Ioniq and still be virile.

Win the Ultimate Formula 1® Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix Experience

Want the F1 experience of a lifetime? Here’s your chance to win tickets to see Turn 18 Grandstand, one of Ultimate Formula 1® Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix’s most premier grandstands!