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Ram CEO Says ‘Tear It Up’: Cringeworthy Off-Road Truck Ad Moment

Is Ram Trucks CEO saying 'tear it up' to his stunt driver in the reveal video for the RHO pickup the right attitude to promote?

"Tear it up" Ram RHO video
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More and more vehicles are getting the ruggedized treatment and/or being created for real off-road adventures. Advertising around such vehicles continues to push the boundaries of responsible off-road use in the name of hyping a product.

I have a marketing degree, so I fully understand the need to show off and build excitement around a new product launch. I’m also an avid off-road and overland traveler, on both two- and four-wheeled vehicles. But, some of the latest off-road vehicle advertising makes me physically cringe.

Alongside the need to hype a new product comes some responsibility for automakers to show consumers how to responsibly use such a vehicle. I believe the latest promo video from Ram is tone-deaf to the current off-road vehicle usage landscape in this country.

Ram CEO Puts Foot in Mouth

Watch this promo video for the new 2025 Ram RHO, particularly starting at 1:55. This is the point in the video where the truck has just been officially unveiled and Ram CEO Timothy Kuniskis tells action star — and now Ram spokesperson — Glen Powell, “So go on. Tear it up.”

Powell replies with, “Tear it up.” Kuniskis says, “Yeah, tear it up.” Powell replies, “Yes, sir.”

“Tear it up” is such the wrong thing to say in an off-road advertisement in this day and age, when off-road areas and trails are continually being closed because people are doing just that. It directly goes against Tread Lightly principles and responsible off-road behavior.

It is a fun saying that basically means go have fun and see what the vehicle can do. However, it is tone-deaf in today’s world, for an advertisement selling an off-road vehicle, in my opinion.

Is Small Print Enough?

2025 Ram RHO

After the “tear it up” exchange, there is an action montage of the new truck ripping across the desert. This includes a big dune jump that gets a bit sideways in the air. But, the truck is, of course, more than capable of such things, with an experienced driver behind the wheel.

In small print at the bottom of the video, it does read, “Professional drivers on closed courses. Do not attempt. Off-roading is inherently dangerous. Abusive use may result in personal injury or vehicle damage.” This appears at 2:37 in the video and is on screen for about 3 seconds.

Is that tiny disclaimer enough? I think, like most small print, most viewers won’t even read it.

Responsible Off-Road Practices

Also of note, while having what looks like a blast ripping around the dunes, including the mentioned massive jump, the truck has no dune flag. Marker flags are essential on vehicles in the dunes so other vehicles can more quickly see you coming and avoid collisions.

This video is, for sure, just a commercial shoot in a closed-off area. But, that distinction is unlikely to be recognized by the general population who aren’t familiar with this type of driving or scenario.

This type of driving and jumping by an inexperienced driver — especially with 540 horsepower on tap — in commonly used public dune driving areas and no dune flag is likely to end very badly.

2025 Ram RHO

Has Off-Road Advertising Gone Too Far?

I’ve driven the Ram TRX — which the RHO is a derivative of — in a similar fashion, including a massive jump, a few times. I did so at press events with Ram, on closed and groomed courses. It was really fun, and the truck was very capable of handling it time and time again.

While testing a vehicle for a review, on private property and in this way, is something I find acceptable, I don’t think the vehicle should be promoted in advertising in such ways. It will likely lead to more new off-roaders driving in this manner, which will, in turn, shut down more public land access to vehicles.

2025 Ram RHO

2025 Ram RHO Charges Onto the Scene as TRX Goes Extinct

While not a TRX replacement, the 2025 Ram RHO is essentially the same truck, just with a smaller motor and lower price. Read more…

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