Non-lyrical tones presented over white Christian iconography in the middle of a cold Kansas winter. Now, that’ll bring Americans together.
The spot is contrived and doesn’t even attempt to place Jeep in the solution.
“It’s a bit downbeat, it’s very quiet, it’s a prayer,” said Olivier Francois, global chief marketing officer at Stellantis NV, parent company of the Jeep and Chrysler brands. “I think the whole thing is Bruce’s prayer for an America reunited that finds its common ground again.”
The long-form commercial is also doing the thing that it wants to undo by reminding us of the deep urban/rural divide in this nation and our house divided.
Yikes. #jeep using a unity message while centering white male, Christian, middle America is ….incredibly tone deaf.
America is made up of a much more than that and a “unity” stance should represent it.
— Catherine Dailey (@cnast_) February 8, 2021
Maybe don’t use a highly politically active entertainer to talk about unity. Also, you’re no Ram farmer.
— Jason Fox, aka @leeclowsbeard (@jason_fox) February 8, 2021
I love Bruce Springsteen, but he's spent 50 years singing about working-class people fighting through hardscrabble lives. “Our soil is common ground” feels like an empty, cliched sentiment here. #AAFChalkTalk #SBads #Plannerbowl #3percentSB #SuperBowlAds #adbowl #brandbowl
— Dan Goldgeier (@DanGoldgeier) February 8, 2021
To be fair, some smart advertising people do like the Jeep ad. Ernie Schenck likes it.
Springsteen and Jeep. Geezus. For my money, this is better than Eminem. It goes like a dagger to the ruined heart of this country. Such a deeply powerful message. Such a deeply felt call to unity. Quite possibly the commercial of this year until something else comes along in the months to topple it, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Thank you, Boss. Thank you, Kansas. Thank you, Jeep.
Like a dagger to the ruined heart of this country? I don’t see that or feel that. But I respect that others do.
What Was the Client Thinking?
“I’m not shooting for funny or serious,” Mr. Francois said. “I don’t care. I’m shooting for a lasting message.”
Mr. Springsteen wrote and produced the original score with collaborator Ron Aniello, the company said. Doner pitched the concept to Mr. Francois, who took it to Mr. Springsteen’s team through producer Jon Landau.
Mr. Francois previously spent more than a decade trying to cast Mr. Springsteen in ads, but Mr. Springsteen had resisted, said Mr. Francois. After seeing the latest concept from his agency, he tried one more time, he said.
Mr. Francois added that Mr. Springsteen embodies the rugged and American nature of the Jeep brand. “It’s a match made in heaven,” he said.
Tracker and Bass Pro Shops Get It Done
There was another Super Bowl commercial last night that did Jeep’s job, but better.
“In these trying times, we need nature more the ever. We need nature to remind us, like a sunrise or turning of the tides, these challenges will pass. We need nature to help us heal and reconnect with the ones we love the most.”
That’s a message I am prepared to believe and act on. How about you?