Chevy: We Don't Care That The "Our Country" Song Is Annoying And Everyone Hates It

Do you hate, “Our Country,” the John Mellencamp song that Chevy uses to promote their line of trucks? You’re not alone. Everyone hates it, according to Newsweek.

Chevy doesn’t care, though. They’re glad you hate it and that you scream and mute the TV whenever it comes on. (Or maybe that’s just me.) They think the campaign has been a success, and are actually making more “Our Country” commercials, despite heavy criticism from people who are sick of the song.

Newsweek says:

“By any measure,” says Chevy spokesman Terry Rhadigan, “this campaign has been a success.” (That’s relative, though: Chevy Silverado sales have been flat over the life of the song–and the overall pickup-truck market is off 2 percent.) Rhadigan says Chevy is aware of the negative buzz but has no plans to throttle back.

I don’t know about you, and I’m sure this isn’t healthy, but I’ve never experienced such pure and intense hatred for anything as I feel for that “Our Country” song. I hate it. I actually miss Bob Seger.

Apparently, I’m not completely alone in this:

ESPN columnist Bill Simmons has made a crusade of lampooning the ads, and his readers are backing him up with postings like this: Mellencamp “needs to go into the witness protection program because I am ready to snap and go OJ on him … for ruining another postseason.”

A quick search through Simmons’ columns reveals this observation: “it’s the only commercial that causes Stockholm Syndrome.”

Do you hate this song, too?

Dear John: We Beg You, Make It Stop [Newsweek]
There’s only one October diary [ESPN]

Comments

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  1. CarlR says:

    Stories like this one remind me how lucky I am that my DVR automatically skips commercials.

  2. theblackdog says:

    I’m so glad I decided not to get cable TV and have no rabbit ears, I get to dodge this bullet.

  3. endicottroad says:

    One thing that strikes me is a kind of transformation among music artists. At one time, it was considered bad, “selling out” to have your song used in a commercial. Like you couldn’t get your music heard any other way. Now, it’s considered nothing special. Just another way for the musician to make money. I prefer the former, where musicians serious about their craft don’t want their work cheapened by someone using it to sell a product. I’d rather have my musical heroes dedicated to the music, not the money.
    ER

  4. yg17 says:

    I fucking hate that song.

    If it’s done anything, it’s made me never, ever want to buy a Chevy. EVER. (well, their crap quality has done that, but still. Even if they didn’t suck, I wouldn’t want one because of that commercial)

  5. figz says:

    @CarlR: Yea, do people still watch commercials?

  6. kc2idf says:

    Is GM trying to tank?!?

    I think the only evidence to the contrary is all the noise that they are making about the Volt, and if I were a gambler, I’d put money down that the Volt will turn out to be pure vapourware.

  7. kc2idf says:

    @endicottroad: The musician has no choice. The practice is called compulsory licensing. The artist must allow use of their music with a nondiscriminatory pricing scheme.

  8. hoosier45678 says:

    It’s not that the song is horrible, as jingles go, but the symbolism is just so blatant that it feels dirty. They could stand to be a little more subtle about what appeals they’re trying to use to manipulate you. Watching it makes me feel like I just came back from a Republican candidate rally.

  9. Skiffer says:

    Music is my boyfriend
    Music is my girlfriend
    Music is my dead end
    Music is my imaginary friend

    I will never buy another Ipod as long as I live…

  10. Crashman06 says:

    @CarlR: Really? Where do you get one of those?

  11. unchi says:

    the reason this campaign is terrible is because there is at least one commercial on during every break and sometimes you get 2 back-to-back during the break. not only that i feel like whenever i watch this campaign, i should have some beer cans in my hand and a nascar cap on my head. i mean has anyone else ever appeared in this campaign besides rustic white males? i thought the nissan truck commercial spoofing dvr would be the worst until this campaign started.

  12. unchi says:

    @Crashman06: i’d like to know too. it would be great to watch sporting events that automatically skipped forward in time.

  13. DrGirlfriend says:

    I hate it, and I feel a little less alone in this world knowing that I’m not the only one.

    Being in the habit of talking back to my TV, I sometimes make faces and sing the jingle in an inappropriate way when this commercial comes on. I don’t that with this one exclusively, but it’s on my list.

  14. UESC says:

    i don’t have cable, just local channels. when i want to watch something, i hit the internet, which (for the most part) doesn’t have commercials.

  15. UpsetPanda says:

    There is no POINT to this commercial. I’m supposed to want to buy a truck because it’s got heritage? The song sucks to begin with, I hate Mellencamp’s music. But they’re trying to use patriotism (which is not inherantly a bad thing) to sell cars and convince people they’re doing a great monumentous deed when they buy a Chevy. I’ll buy a Corvette, but not a truck. They don’t advertise Corvettes.

  16. lightaugust says:

    I think the article in Newsweek compares the campaign to Ford’s ‘Like A Rock’ which overstayed its welcome by about two decades, but Ford insists on using it. You can’t blame Chevy for copying a model which has done so well for Ford… I mean, look where they are now.

  17. bohemian says:

    I loathe it because it is so obnoxiously manipulative. Well the song gets annoying after hearing it the second time a max commercial level volume too.

    I don’t see trucks I want to buy, I see a blatant disregard for national resources, national security and the environment. This was before I finally watched “who killed the electric car”. I am sick of seeing patriotism defined as ignorant excess.

    As for the Volt – you will never see it in mass production for the consumer.

  18. Crashman06 says:

    @DrGirlfriend: This commercial has been through a bunch of iterations, and I seem to recall one of them showing the truck, interspersed with shots of civil rights protesters in the 60s. I remember that making me feel nauseated.

  19. Jon R. says:

    Having a Tivo means never having to hear it.

  20. ry81984 says:

    That song is not obnoxious at all.
    I just listened to it on youtube and it was easy listening and not annoying at all.
    Why are people annoyed by nothing?
    This is the first I ever heard anyone complain about that song.

    Anyways John Mellencamp might be a good singer, but he is a racist against white people by defending the criminals with his jena 6 song.

  21. Bladefist says:

    its marketing. whether you love it or hate it, its in your head, which is the whole point.

  22. hellinmyeyes says:

    This song drives me up the f’ing wall. Whenever I hear it, I change the channel, and I’ve even heard it in the background of some good football games. Chevy cheapens his song, and they cheapen the events they have playing in their commercials as well.

    This reminds me of the 1-2-3-4 song by Feist that Apple absolutely BLITZED onto the television air waves. My friends don’t understand why I can’t STAND the song since the very first day I heard it… three hundred twelve times.

    I think artists should be a little more wary about how they’re letting their songs be used by their labels. It does get them more exposure, maybe at the cost of people like me who just can’t stand having things thrown at them a million times.

  23. boandmichele says:

    1)thanks, tivo

    2)i am SO glad i do not have stock in GM

    3)screw it, im buying a tundra.

  24. boandmichele says:

    @ry81984: wow, i thought i went off topic

  25. Skiffer says:

    @ry81984: It’s just because of the overexposure…especially during football/baseball games. But overexposure can happen with anything.

    Listen to it 30 times in a row and then get back to us…

  26. vanilla-fro says:

    @Skiffer: I too hate that song so much.
    I wish it would stop.

  27. homerjay says:

    These commercials have never bothered me. But then again, I do skip over commercials as often as I can.

    The one that drives me insane is the National Floors Direct commercial (might be regional- Boston). It doesn’t even have a jingle, just some obnoxious blonde bitch telling me how much she saved by using National Floors Direct. I just want to reach through the screen and choke her.

  28. Skiffer says:

    @homerjay: Off topic…
    I had an idea a while back to deal with annoying commercials:
    Imagine a duck hunt / nintendo style gun that, while you were watching regular tv, it could overlay graphics, decals, effects, etc over the tv…

    It was inspired by me wanting to shoot Ms. Cleo in the face… (remember her psychic hotline?)

    If anyone develops it, I want halfsies…

  29. hellinmyeyes says:

    @CaffeinatedSquint: Chevy was to blame for that one, not Ford. I hated that one too!

  30. Bay State Darren says:

    I thought it was funny how this song first attacked us as illegal immigration became such a sudden hot-button topic. Almost like it was intended as an anti-immigrant anthem, i.e. “This is our country, not yours!” I honestly thought Chevy and Cougar would catch flack for this subtext I percieved/imagined. Now I wish they had so I wouldn’t have had to hear it so damn much.

  31. faust1200 says:

    Mellencougar sucks period. And that song especially sucks hard. The one thing that maybe doesn’t suck is Jack & Diane but that was like 25 years ago.

  32. Buran says:

    @yg17: Yeah, that’s what I don’t get. You would think that if you’re angering potential customers, you would do something about that. It’s like they WANT to go out of business.

  33. hubris says:

    Chevy doesn’t give a crap what people who frequent sites like this think. They’re going for a totally different demographic: the fools who bought so many copies of that jackass who sang about putting a boot up your ass if you didn’t love America with unreasoning intensity.

  34. Buran says:

    @ry81984: Different people have different tastes. My friends like to give me crap for the artist I like (why? I don’t know, it’s not like I force them to listen) but there’s nothing wrong with different tastes.

  35. alk509 says:

    If you hate those ads, you hate America! :-P

    In all seriousness: To me it’s not the song itself, but the fact that it’s being used in these particular ads that I find inappropriate. Sure, it’s a lame song about how awesome America is, but the fact that owning a Chevy truck is surreptitiously injected into this vignette of America along with images of 9/11, Katrina, Rosa Parks, and MLK (and then Richard Nixon’s victory salute thing? What in the hell?!) is what really pushes my buttons. The song is the least offensive part of it – just another shitty Mellencamp song.

  36. jamesdenver says:

    We had channel 1 in high school. My teacher was so disgusted by it he muted the commercials (well the whole thing’s a commercial,) whenever they came on.

    Since then I’ve been instinctively hitting MUTE at every commercial break. It’s become habit, my friends think it’s weird, but it keeps some peace and lets me be selective about what enters my mind.

  37. mbgrabbe says:

    Chevy has nothing to do with America. Chevrolet was a company founded by a Swiss immigrant. Its more American at this point to buy Toyota or Honda (both of which are manufactured in America anyways) because you’re saving money on gas, and buying a much better product. That’s capitalism, baby. Reward the good companies, and hate on the bad ones.

    Im glad so many people hate this song; I thought I was alone :)

  38. DrGirlfriend says:

    @omerhi: off topic, but your icon is rad

  39. @Skiffer: (I saw that iPod ad for the first time last night and had this wtf moment. Like, is Apple trying to make fun of consumers now?)

    Back to the actual topic now…

  40. Lazlo Nibble says:

    @kc2idf: AFAIK you can’t use compulsory licensing rules to get permission to use a song in a commercial. And even if you can, the rules apply only to the song itself: you can use compulsory licensing to get permission to release your own performance of Mellencamp’s song, but not to release Mellencamp’s performance of it.

  41. KillingMyBrainCells says:

    @mbgrabbe: The whole country was founded by IMMIGRANTS!!!

  42. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    And like the old Beatles songs, the performance itself may not even be owned by the performer.
    Compulsory license does apply as LazloNibble says above, you can perform someone else’s song but you must pay the writer(s) (or owner) a set fee for each record sold.
    Don’t know how it works for commercials.

    And Mellencamp sold out just by writing that feel-good-about-America bullshit in the first place, so it’s not like he’s losing my respect selling it to Chevy.

  43. RW23 says:

    What’s most amusing is they run the same commercials in Canada, except replace some US imagery with Canadian imagery. I wonder if it is run in any other countries…

  44. Buran says:

    @bladefist: But you don’t want your customers to have it in their head associated with “THAT annoying BS? I think I’m not going to buy that piece of junk”. You want positive associations with your advertising.

  45. pouls29 says:

    It sucks just as bad as the “Like a Rock” mantra. I will never by a Chevy because of that.

  46. mugsywwiii says:

    The first time I saw one of those commercials I thought to myself, “that’s a nice xenophobic ad.” But then in the same commercial break they had an ad that was entirely in Spanish. GM can’t even figure out who they want to appeal to.

  47. tadowguy says:

    Thanks for reminding me to buy Japanese, Chevrolet. Your POS car that I had in 1993 wasn’t lesson enough.

  48. XTC46 says:

    @Skiffer: that song is good…and so is the commercial considering it was made by some college kid.

  49. Bladefist says:

    @Buran: As a consumer, I agree with you. But I have marketing friends that say its better for you to remember and hate, then not remember. Who knows. I typically refuse to purchase products that annoy me. Most of the people here are smart consumers, out to protect consumers. The rest of the dim wits in the world this marketing works on.

  50. Eric Lai says:

    There’s an ‘American-made Index’ out there with the top 10 cars/trucks with domestic content. The Chevy Silverado is on there, but so is the Toyota Camry and Sienna. In fact, Toyota and Honda do a series of more subtle (tasteful) ads about how building plants in the US contribute to the economy, give people jobs, etc.

    Meanwhile, the Ford Crown Victorias that are used as cop cars, taxis, etc. are actually classified as foreign cars because of the high amount of content from and final assembly in Canada.

  51. mconfoy says:

    John Cougar Mellenhead. Him and Bob Segar, and Journey for that matter, midwest pablum. they should play this stuff in Gitmo if they want real torture.

  52. Kishi says:

    @Skiffer: Yeah, that’s the one song out there that I hate more than “This is Our Country.” Now, given that I suffered through the Chevy ads being played (at least) once an ad break during the baseball playoffs, and I’ve only seen that iPod ad a dozen times or so, that makes me realize how much more inherently annoying it is.

  53. mandarin says:

    Well everyone finds the usual songs of these car commercials annoying. So far that Chevy song is a little old-fashioned and kinda redneck.
    I hated that Zoom zoom song by another car company. I also started hating that woman who is in all the mercury car commercials.

  54. Zelle999 says:

    Oh GOD, zoom zoom zoom!

    The one that I hated almost as much as “Like a Rock” and “This is Our Country” was the Terri Clark, “Bigger in the Southwest! Better in a DODGE!” I think they changed the Southwest part depending on the region, but GAWD, I hate that commercial. And they put the name of the artist and name of the song at the beginning like someone’s really gonna say, “Hey, that’s a catchy little ditty. I don’t hear it near often enough on TV, I think I’ll buy the single!”

  55. bob9 says:

    I think some of you might want to put your money where your mouth is and check out a Chevy. The auto rags are raving about the new Malibu, the Volt is almost ready to begin production and their Trucks are some of the best.

    Better yet, know what you’re talking about or don’t say anything at all.

  56. bob9 says:

    Oh and you Toyota fans out there might want to ask you’re company why the Camry transmission is failing. Toyota recognizes this, yet refuses to fix it. They call it a “teething” issue.

  57. Egakino says:

    @mandarin: I hate the Zoom Zoom Zoom song for probably a completly different reason than you. That is a bastardization of a Capoeira song. Translated it goes something like this: “Zoom zoom zoom capoeira kills one / kills two, kills three / if all of you attack me at once / I will kill you all” soooo um yeah nice song Mazada. Probably one person saw an a late night viewing of “Only the Strong” (for those that don’t know here ya go [www.imdb.com] ) and said oooo me likey that.

  58. hyperlexis says:

    Gee, those people should work together with Macy’s! Two tone deaf companies who don’t give a damn what consumers say they want. Brilliant strategy.

    And all the while, Toyota’s new V-8 truck is eating up market share.

    Good job GM. Close your ears and eyes tighter.

  59. synergy says:

    Manipulation with a big dollop of jingoism. Yay!

    Personally I also hate Toby Keith and Ford.

  60. rdldr1 says:

    Im glad that many share my opinion that the “Our Country” commercials suck. When they first came out, I felt the racist or even xenophobic — because the underlying message is “this is not YOUR country.”

  61. randombob says:

    @hoosier45678:

    Right there with you on that one, man. Right there with you. I HATE this commercial for that very reason. THEY’RE SELLING TRUCKS. But their commercial basically says, “If you don’t buy a Chevy, you’re probably a freedom-hating, Taliban-supporting, HIppie-lovin’ communist. Bastard.”

    Sorry, but driving a chevy doesn’t make you american.

    F-U CHEVY. DIE.

  62. CumaeanSibyl says:

    I hate “Our Country” because Mellencamp wrote it for the commercial, and didn’t release it as a song until after they figured out maybe they could hook the Toby Keith demographic. It’s not just “this is our country, you filthy immigrants stay out,” it’s “this is our country because we’re the blue-collar lifeblood of the nation, all you latte-swilling baby-killin libruls should go move to Canada.” As a great man once said, “I don’t need this working-class hero crap.”

    John Mellencamp is just a poor man’s Bruce Springsteen anyway.

  63. velocipenguin says:

    @Skiffer:

    Cansei de Ser Sexy rules. Are they really using “Music Is My Hot Hot Sex” to sell iPods?

  64. MyCokesBiggerThanYours says:

    First of all – you people at Consumersist are genrally haters to begin with. Second – an ad you hate is usually more successful than one you like. Think about it. You just got everyone thinking about and talking about GM. When it comes to marketing, you’re not the sharpest sticks.

    One concept you guys miss on a daily basis its that its up to the consumer to make a choice and take care of themselves. Don’t like GM’s commercial. Don’t buy GM.

    Just look at the hate in all the comments above… Is that what you like, festering the hate in people? These people are bigots and class-ists.

    And by the way to you class-ist-bigots “red-necks” are unionized working people from the 1920s. Look it up.

  65. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Hey, like George Carlin said, if you don’t buy a car the terrorists win.

  66. etinterrapax says:

    I don’t really mind the song, but I seriously object to the way it’s being used. Consumption’s gotten us into this mess. I’m happy to be unpatriotic if I can be out of consumer debt and making serious headway on the mortgage. I’ll never buy Chevy anyhow, and this didn’t help.

  67. 1964F100 says:

    @lightaugust: Did you mean “Built Ford Tough?”

    I vaguely recall a number of years ago a Ford commercial took a swipe at Chevy and their (painfully) long-running “Like A Rock” campaign. In touting the F-150, the ad stated you could not find a better truck, even if you “looked under a rock.” Touché!

  68. dafountain says:

    This one really doesn’t bother me. The one that makes me insane is Ipod’s 1234 commercial. The only thing that keeps me from throwing a shoe at the TV is that it’s a new plasma HD and it’s my baby. I would never hurt my baby.

  69. b612markt says:

    All the tv i watch comes form bittorrent… the only commercials I see are the product placements.

  70. Kishi says:

    @MyCokesBiggerThanYours: Wait… So my dislike for seeing the same ad twenty or more times over a few hours makes me a bigot and a “class-ist”?

  71. karlrove says:

    Get me some tobaccy, my hound and a six pack

  72. timmus says:

    Those damn Chevy and Ford redneck pickup commercials piss me off to no end (not that I watch much TV anymore). I remember when I lived in Oklahoma several years ago, they were saturating the local TV with these provincialistic “Oklahoma knows Ford’s the best” ads. We moved to Austin, and local TV was saturated with the same ads except it was “Texas knows Ford’s the best”. My household not only became polarized against Ford and Chevy, but against pickups in general. Give me a low-key Honda commercial any day.

  73. timmus says:

    And Chevy and Ford suck, anyway, unless you like subsidizing your local mechanic.

  74. beezn says:

    I live in Indiana, there is no place safe here from the looming threat of John Melloncamp. My friends have muted, changed the channel, even thrown things whilst screaming at the TV when the “Our Country” commercials come on. Trust me, we don’t like him much here either unless you happen to be a baby boomer.

  75. cde says:

    @Skiffer: Really? I like that song though. Doesnt make me wanna spend couple hundred on a mp3 player, but enough to buy that song :D

    @velocipenguin: Thank you for giving the song a name and artist… *Off to the iTunes to purchase*

    And the new Ford commercials rock, especially the ones where they dead lift a steel container. That’s how commercials should work, by showing me how the damn thing works :D

  76. XianZomby says:

    Tired of hokey flag-waving patriotic heartbeat of America songs in car ads. If they want to sell their crappy cars, they need to get some hip music and slick imagery, like the Japanese cars.

    Stop hiring Young Republicans and guys in cowboy hats to sell your ugly gas guzzling poorly built boats on wheels.

  77. Egakino says:

    @MyCokesBiggerThanYours: Obvious Troll is obvious.

  78. Bay State Darren says:

    @MyCokesBiggerThanYours: Don’t like GM’s commercial. Don’t buy GM.

    I haven’t bought a Chevy or any other car since this plague first struck, yet somehow this omnipresent jingle still manages to assault my ears and annoy me. Your theory fails.

  79. ldavis480 says:

    The commercial that drives me absolutely NUTS is the Enzyte “male enhancement ad” Bob idiot. This commercial is seriously disturbing! Everytime I see his vapid turd-eating grin staring into the ether I have an overpowering urge to take a baseball bat to his face. In fact I would PAY money to never see this commercial ever again.

    Everytime I see the commercial, I immediately change the channel and watch a different program.

    One of these days I’ll setup mythTV just to escape commercials, in reality I hate them all but mostly Enzyte Bob.

  80. Hinomura says:

    apparently “my country” is a place where everyone is white, Christian, goes to rodeos, does construction or some other type of masculine manual labor, walks around in cowboy boots and a cowboy hat, and has the Dubya’s moral fiber leaking out his ass

  81. karmaghost says:

    I don’t hate it as much as I hate McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It” commercials. “Duh, duh, duh, duh-duuuuuuhh, Go Fuck Yourself.”

  82. drjayphd says:

    I’m almost tempted, if I meet Bill Simmons, to ask him “hey Bill, whose country is this?” just to see if he curls up into the fetal position and starts foaming at the mouth.

    @MyCokesBiggerThanYours: You forgot “and another thing, Consumerist readers, (INSERT LOCAL SPORTS TEAM) sucks!” Other than that, you’re still the worst heel I’ve seen.

    @Kishi: Must mean I am, too.Along with damn near everyone else in the known universe.

  83. SoCalGNX says:

    I like the commercials. I like the song. I have own 6 Silverados and find them as comfortable and reliable as anything out there. We end up putting alot of miles on them so we buy every 2 to 4 years.
    And no, they don’t need to advertise Corvettes. Even at 60K, those suckers sell themselves. We sold our last one last year to someone in Sweden and will probably buy another.

  84. zibby says:

    @mandarin: Ha, yeah! That “zoom zoom” bit made me want to punch a puppy whenever it came on.

    This Chevy song isn’t great, but I find it easy to ignore.

  85. Canadian Impostor says:

    @ry81984: Did you accidentally type “consumerist.com” instead of “kkkonsumerist.com”?

  86. Instigator says:

    Chevy is keeping the campaign because it resonates with its target market. If you hate the commercial, you’re not part of the target market, so Chevy doesn’t care.

  87. King of the Wild Frontier says:

    I don’t miss Bob Seger one bit. Truck commercials are where washed-up musicians go to die.

  88. coraspartan says:

    I don’t hate this song. Of course, I skip over the commercials anyway, thanks to my DVR.

    Now, if you could write a post about that fucking annoying woman in the Comcast ads, THEN I could go off!

  89. JayXJ says:

    I don’t hate or like the song, it is just a commercial. DVR gets me past it nicely on the rare occasion I actually have time to watch TV.

    I’m buying used truck next year, likely it will be a Ford because I’ve had bad luck with other makes of truck. Anyone easily influenced by commericals really needs to take a breather and grow a brain.