Sharp-eyed viewers of Chevrolet’s new emotional “Home for the Holidays” ad that debuted on Thanksgiving are asking why Chevy would feature a prominent landmark with the name of a major competitor — Ford — even if “Ford” was digitally removed from it?
Part of the extended 5-minute, 30-second ad shows an older woman apparently suffering from some form of dementia remembering things while being driven around by her granddaughter in a vintage 1972 Chevy Suburban. Part of that tour has them driving into the famous Ford-Wyoming theater in Dearborn, Michigan.
That’s where many people notice that in the ad the theater’s marquis that in real life has “Ford-Wyoming” emblazoned across it instead reads just “Wyoming.”
Did Chevy Edit Out ‘Ford’?
After Cowboy State Daily earlier this week dug into a reader’s inquiry about the large “Wyoming” sign that appears more than halfway into the ad, another reader asked: “So, did Chevrolet’s ad people photoshop out the ‘Ford’ from the sign?’”
Yep, that’s what happened, a representative of the theater confirmed to Cowboy State Daily.
“We did know before filming that our theater’s name would not be displayed in its entirety to avoid confusion with Ford Motors,” said Courtney Clark, a spokesperson for the theater, which bills itself as the largest drive-in in the world.
She also said the theater isn’t named for Ford Motors, which is what many people assume.
“Our theater was established in 1950 and named for the intersection at which it’s located, Ford Road and Wyoming Street,” Clark said. “While locals know the reason for the name, a national audience understandably may have been confused to see ‘Ford’ in a Chevrolet ad.”
She said the ad, which was first shown on Thanksgiving during the NFL’s Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers game, was a special moment for the drive-in.
“We are honored to have been part of such a special film project,” she said. “We have patrons today that continue to bring their children and grandchildren to experience the magic of a drive-in movie. And we love seeing that magic at work in the touching story between grandmother and granddaughter on screen.”
Calls to Chevrolet’s ad agency, Commonwealth/McCann, about why it chose that particular drive-in and made “Wyoming” a source of confusion for people outside of the Dearborn and Detroit metro area were not returned.
Although the Ford-Wyoming theater in the Chevy ad has nothing to do with the Cowboy State, there are plenty of landmarks actually in Wyoming that are featured prominently in film and advertisements, such as Devils Tower, Old Faithful and the Grand Tetons.
Dale Killingbeck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.