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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Adams Tractor hopes to hit paydirt again with another local Super Bowl commercial

For many fair-weather fans and even some ardent football aficionados, it’s not just about the action on the gridiron on Super Bowl Sunday. Some folks pay just as much attention to commercials.

While most of the spots are costly national clips, there are some local commercials made for the most watched television event of the year. It’s Super Bowl III for Adams Tractor, which has shops in Spokane, Coeur d’Alene, Colfax, Bonners Ferry and Lewiston. The family-owned business, which has been selling new and used tractors and farm equipment since 1929, has worked with Spokane’s Victory Media with spots that ran in 2020, 2023 and this Sunday.

“We believe the commercials for our business are beneficial,” Adams Tractor General Manager Matt Adams said. “We believe people recognize the commercials and the message resonates with the people of the community.”

The cost to produce and air the 30-second spot, which was shot over a three-day period in Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake and Coeur d’Alene in October and December, is in the $25,000 to $30,000 range, Adams said.

“We believe what we get back is worth the cost and we’re very happy with this year’s commercial,” Adams said.

Victory Media normally gives Adams three options, but there was only one choice for the current campaign. The concept – the tractor is your best friend – received an immediate green light from Adams.

“I expected more than one proposal, but when I heard the concept from Victory, I loved it,” Adams said. “I think it’s hilarious. I laughed out loud and was completely behind it from the start.”

Victory Media President Dayne Kuhlmann came up with the concept and stars in the quirky spot, which also features such local luminaries as the Washington Redskins’ (now the Commanders) Super Bowl 26 MVP Mark Rypien, Spokane Eats owner Chandler Baird and Gonzaga Bulldog basketball player Ben Gregg.

Kuhlmann’s tractor connection emanates from a dream. Kuhlmann and Gregg are watching a sad film and the tractor delivers much needed tissues. When Kuhlmann appears to be playing quarterback during an intense football game, he fires a completion to his tractor. Rypien and Kuhlmann follow by celebrating.

“The touchdown sequence is so much fun, since Mark is just so funny and talented,” Kuhlmann said. “When we were working on the scene, Mark said, ‘Why don’t you just grab the ball and spike it?’ I did and he busts out the Griddy, and to see a 60-year-old man dance the Griddy like my 12-year-old is just awesome.”

Kuhlmann has built a repertory company of sorts since this is his second commercial with Rypien and Baird.

“I love being part of what Dayne creates,” Baird said. “I was in the Super Bowl commercial last year at the burger joint (Coeur d’Alene’s Hudson Burgers) and had a great time. I hope I get to be in the commercial next year.”

The ad, which also features Boomer, the Chiefs mascot, will air in between quarters at some point during the Super Bowl, according to Kuhlmann.

“It’s just a fantastic commercial,” Adams said. “It’s wonderfully creative and it’s just so much fun having Mark Rypien in it again. There’s just something about his Super Bowl presence. I couldn’t be happier and it’ll help our business.”

The 2023 commercial, a clever mockumentary of a documentary that doesn’t exist, featured a website attachment during last year’s Super Bowl. The link attracted 10,000 visitors within 24 hours who witnessed a four-minute short that expanded upon the commercial.

“It definitely had an impact,” Kuhlmann said. “People talked about it and visited Adams Tractors. We’re excited to see how it goes this year.”

The Adams Tractor campaign is for two months. There is no extended version of the spot, which will drive viewers to, this year. However, the clip will be highlighted on the Victory Media YouTube page after the game.

Kuhlmann is thrilled to be in a working relationship with an independently owned company that opened its doors almost a century ago.

“There is such a rich history with Adams Tractor,” Kuhlmann said. “Henry Ford met John Adams’ grandfather when Ford was coming through during the World’s Fair. Ford met John’s grandfather on the train tracks and made a deal with him to sell tractors.”

Nearly a century leader, the Adams family is still in the game, selling top-of-the-line Kubotas. Four years ago, a spot was shot featuring Kuhlmann’s then-6-year-old daughter shopping for a Kubota. The adult version of Kuhlmann’s daughter, played by his wife, bought the tractor.

“My wife will never do another commercial again,” Kuhlmann said. “But that’s fine. I’m fortunate that I have a number of people like Mark and Chandler, who are more than happy to be part of the Adams Tractor commercials.”