Country Music Helps Sell Pickups

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It's practically a cliche: a well-worn lone pickup truck runs on an empty stretch of road and pulls alongside a calf caught in some fencing. A rugged and bearded middle-aged man in a plaid shirt and faded jeans steps out, untangles the calf and smacks it on the butt, sending it in the direction of its mother. Fade to the pair reuniting in the pasture. All the while plaintive, repetitive country music plays in the background. Ugh.

Or a young woman holding a bottle of beer dances in the bed of pickup to the melancholy lyrics of a country-western song; she twists and turns with one arm up, her knees bents, cutoff jeans snug over suntanned legs. Also a big ugh.

Whenever they can, pickup truck makers love to push the country spirit in commercials, preferably with a twanging guitar in the background in an attempt to lure new-truck customers to dealerships or the latest pickup marketing event. In our collective mind, pickups and country music go hand-in-hand.

It's no surprise that most of the big pickup makers have some kind of western-themed trim package to take advantage of this tie-in; in fact, profit margins on these well-equipped models are usually quite high. That's why all the truckmakers produce a special-edition vehicle for the State Fair of Texas or offer a cowboy themed edition — i.e., Ford's King Ranch, Toyota's 1794 Edition and Ram's Longhorn.

Here are other examples of how country music and pickup truck makers have joined forces.


Ford has a longtime relationship with country-music superstar Toby Keith, who was on hand at the introduction of the previous-generation Super Duty pickup at the State Fair of Texas. He's the odds-on favorite celebrity to be on hand when Ford gives journalists the first chance to drive the all-new aluminum-bodied 2017 Super Duty later this year. Ford also sponsors the Professional Bull Riders association, and if there's anything more cowboy-centric than that sport, we don't know what it is. More recently, Ford has teamed up with country singer Drake White, sponsoring his "Livin' the Dream" community service tour.


Ram has been connected with country music for many years, sponsoring events, concerts and special giveaways with the likes of Easton Corbin and Miranda Lambert, two of the biggest names in country music. Lambert was part of the Ram 1500 giveaway program that raised money for her favorite charity, MuttNation Foundation, dedicated to stopping animal cruelty. Ram also is a major sponsor of the Academy of Country Music Awards each year and the associated Party for a Cause Festival. The event gives country music artists a chance to connect with fans in an intimate outdoor setting while raising money for the ACM Lifting Lives program that benefits veterans. Of course, Ram always has a test-drive area where marketers collect mountains of data from country music fans and potential buyers. Check out the Chris Stapleton's video; he's driving a Ram 1500. 


Toyota has sponsored the Stagecoach country music festival for last 10 years in the Colorado Desert a few hours outside Los Angeles. Patterned after the monster Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival held in the same area, Stagecoach is a multiday, multivenue feast of country music concerts. Toyota also sponsors the Toyota Country Music Festival Tamworth in Australia, one of the largest music events of its kind in all of Oz.

Editor's note: This story was updated May 16 to correct Ram's affiliation with the Academy of Country Music Awards' Party for a Cause Festival and to remove an incorrect mention of Chevrolet's involvement with ACM's festival. photos by Mark Williams; manufacturer images



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All the wannabe "Country" men and women need to drive a truck usually with a lift and 20"+ deep dished rims to help reassure themselves that they are in fact "Country".

It's funny because the real "Country" folk don't run around trying to show how "Country" they are.

It is called "Tractor Rap". There's a lot of pickups on the road for sure... but unfortunately, lots of them are being destroyed by their owners with ridiculous lift kits on their mall crawlers. Right now, the huge thing is having tow mirrors, and it is all about image. Almost none of them even tow, it's all about the looks. Thank you country music... you've tarnished the used pickup market in a really big way.

I'm not a country music fan and thus haven't heard of Chris Stapleton. He can sing, no doubt about that.

No country for GMC and Nissan?

I love playing hick-hop in my Ram. We renecks got it right!



Toby Keith has a new Ford song coming out. The song is called "Not As Good As It Once Was Lyrics"

The words go like this...

She said I saw you here before;
I said I bought a Ford Exploder;

She said Ford is recalling 75,364 Exploders (and Police Interceptor Utility Vehicles) for what could be a really big issue.

I said the campaign affects 2014-15 model-year vehicles manufactured between January 17 and May 31, 2014.

She said the rear suspension toe links may not have been welded properly, potentially causing them to fracture.

I said that could result in the driver losing control of the vehicle, thereby increasing the risk of a crash.

Nice song!

@Dr. Power: David Allen Coe never said that country had to be about Cadillacs, he said you must mention Momma, Trains, Trucks, Prison, or getting drunk.

But I like me some Dwight Yoakam songs, and he has sang about Cadillacs.

Joe Diffie sang about women liking a Pickup Man.

The mighty combat proven Power Wagon had it's own song.

The mighty combat proven Power Wagon had it's own song.

Ram sucks ram sucks chipiest truck and junk truck.

I agree, most wanna be country folks drive their diesel's with huge lifts, 20-22 inch rims (where is the spare tire?) and they think they are so country...

My standard SR Toyota 4x4 with just 16" rims and BFG tires 265/75 will do more off-road than most of those lifted wanna be's and their diesels...

I hate pulling them full-size trucks out with my 4-cylinder Toyota!

Toyota is usually the go-to-truck at San Fransisco "Happy Parades".

This PUTC story was guaranteed to bring out some of the sheer poetry this website's comments section has become famous for.

Poe, Longfellow, Frost, Shakespeare cannot compare to the likes of ooxi, RAM, TRX-4 Tom, Rodando and Dr Power.

Pray tell, Hemi V8, whither goest thou?


I think I got a months worth of vitamin redneck today

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