By on May 4, 2017

Jeep Compass ad

The only thing missing is Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way bleating from the speakers, but songs from 1977 often don’t play well with those born after 1980. (Or 1982, depending on your source.) Slow, maudlin hipster “rock,” if you can call it that, is how you reel in those youngsters these days.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, knowing exactly what it wants the second-generation Jeep Compass to mean to the most sought-after segment of car buyers, is placing its sales pitch to scruffy Millennials in a new ad campaign.

As Millennial automotive marketing is usually a cringe-inducing affair, each new product launch and ad campaign targeting this generation sparks morbid interest in cynical observers. Hence, this post.

2017 Jeep Compass

Jeep’s 2017 Compass — no, not that other 2017 Compass — gets top billing in FCA’s new “Recalculating” campaign, but the real star of the show is you, dear Millennial consumer. You, with your hopes and dreams being squashed like a centipede under a bank vault by the expectations of society.

Throughout the ad a robotic, GPS-like voice barks life instructions instead of directions, telling the Compass’ occupants exactly what they should do with themselves. “Go straight to a steady job,” the voice commands. “Toe the company line.”

“Stay single until you’re 34.”

Each individual then changes their mind — telling off their employer, proposing to a girlfriend or tangling with bears with reckless spontaneity as the system, the machine, the MAN states, “Recalculating.” They’re taking the road less traveled, you see, and what do you need for off-roading? A Jeep! Like the Soyuz capsule in Gravity, these young adults, each filled with roiling passions, pent-up desires and the alluring yet petrifying uncertainty of youth, have found their escape vehicle.

Hold on, it doesn’t end there. Olivier Francois, FCA’s chief marketing officer, tells the Detroit Free Press, “[Millennials] want a higher level of human truth, that’s what they want. All you need is your inner compass.” Boom! There it is.

The spot exudes a socially acceptable level of libertarian/punk ethos by showing Hip Young Urban Professionals throwing off the shackles of a pre-determined life to follow their hearts, sometimes in an almost-risque way. “Be a vegan,” says the voice, as one of our protagonists chows down on a steak large enough to choke an elephant. A young woman looks at a pregnancy test with apprehension, at which point she appears to make like Madonna and keep that baby — but what about her career?!

Depending on the viewer, some might see such things as either a reinforcement of traditional societal norms or a backlash to the expectations of the uber politically correct.

Up to this point, it’s bearable. In fact, it’s among the better automotive appeals to Millennials seen in recent years, though the messaging is hardly new. At least the subjects are driving and not running around a parked CUV painting things on walls and pretending to have a camp-out.

Then follows the feel-good, saccharine marketing tagline that wouldn’t sound out of place spoken in a stadium to 12,000 high-schoolers bused in from around the state. The one that eats up a lot of the goodwill felt by the viewer up to that point: “Love, hope, happiness. Whatever your destination, there’s a million beautiful, ever changing ways to get us there.”

Ideally, though, you’ll want to take a Jeep to that destination. That’s right, kiddos, you can choose from three transmissions!

[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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48 Comments on “Attention, Millennials: Jeep Wants You to Quit Your Job and Eat Meat...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Olivier Francois, FCA’s chief marketing officer, tells the Detroit Free Press, “[Millennials] want a higher level of human truth, that’s what they want. All you need is your inner compass.” Boom! There it is.

    Sorry I can’t roll my eyes that hard on a Thursday afternoon with suffering some sort of injury

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    What a croc of sh*t.

  • avatar
    Middle-Aged Miata Man

    As someone with healthy levels of contempt for both Millennials and Fiasler, I have to say I actually like this ad a lot. The only part I don’t like is the needless lampshading with the ending voiceover, as Steph noted, which I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn if it came from Olivier himself based on his insipid “inner compass” comment.

    Shut up already, fade to the Jeep logo after the last “recalculating,” and let the work speak for itself.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Millennials are the most sought-after demographic du jour. Fiatsler needs all the help it can get. The new Compass was designed for, and marketed to, this specific demographic.

      Given a choice, the Grand Cherokee would be the better choice for Millennials.

      • 0 avatar
        Middle-Aged Miata Man

        Even Millennials should be able to understand the ad’s message without having it spelled out for them at the end. (And for that matter, a Kia would be a better vehicle for most of them than any Jeep.)

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Oh, you’re right, but I don’t see a Compass being compatible with Millennials.

          I see a Grand Cherokee being a perfect match for Millennials.

          Could be why the Compass is designed to look like the Grand Cherokee’s mini-me.

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            The Grand Cherokee *starts* at $31k.

            Millennials, generally speaking, don’t have any money.

            How is that a perfect match?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Millennials don’t buy cars either. What they drive tend to be hand-me-downs.

            As far as the Grand Cherokee, they are routinely discounted $2500 and more off MSRP. If people need to finance, and if they qualify, they can drive home in a Laredo, easy.

            The perfect match comes in for the Millennials who CAN afford to buy a house and a new car, of which there aren’t that many.

            The Grand Cherokee is a vehicle they can grow into and with, as in having babies, owning dogs, etc.

            The Compass starts out small and is easily outgrown, beginning with the second dog, or the first kid, car seat and baby bag.

          • 0 avatar
            la834

            > Could be why the Compass is designed to look like the Grand Cherokee’s mini-me.

            That’s what it should have been, but it looks more like the Renegade’s maxi-me.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            la834, I have heard that said before. I thought the reasoning for the design was the popularity of the Grand Cherokee. Fiatsler hoped that it would spill over.

            But when you start looking at Compass pricing, and contrast it to Grand Cherokee Laredo pricing, the two are not that far apart.

            And the GC is huge by comparison, while the Compass looks like a chubby little sister.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Since CUV’s are the “in car” or at least high volume sellers, wouldn’t Millennials be bright enough to realize that this advertisement is telling them to buy anything BUT a SUV?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Most millenials aren’t going to be able to shell out $45,000 for a Grand Cherokee.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          FreedMike, Grand Cherokees sell for a lot less than $45K.

          See PerkinsMotors, Colo Sprgs, or Larry H. Miller, or go to the dealer website of your choice in your area, from Jeep.com.

          Besides, Millennials who do buy new, buy or lease Land Rover, Jaguar, or even BMW, Audi and Mercedes.

          After all, the oldest ones are getting to be in their late twenties. If they haven’t made it by now, that’s a failure to launch.

          I don’t see the Compass as a match for Millennials. I see the Compass a better match for HS and College students, whose parents pick up the tab as a present or graduation gift.

        • 0 avatar
          TheDoctorIsOut

          Let ’em pay for it out of their Uber earnings.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    I liked car ads better when they were selling the promise of sex.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Jeep literally found the opposite demographic of their brands image for this vehicle and market it as if a consumer that lives that lifestyle (pencil pusher) might take action to suddenly be a fun-loving human.

    This vehicle clearly has no business even going over a curb but I’m sure Jeep knows that there’s no possibility of a consumer attempting that, precious few would even know where to go.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      The Compass is the international model, sold where American sensibilities don’t exist. Remember, the lead name in Fiat-Chrysler is Fiat, an European company selling to Europeans.

      They dropped the Patriot name for exports/foreign assembly because it was more like an American Jeep. There are patriots everywhere, but other countires have histories of coups, revolutions and military dictatorships that we don’t have. The name has acquired some characteristics in some places that car companies need to avoid.

      Too bad Jeep now wants Americans to buy the “Euro” model, when the Patriot would have sold better here. I guess selling the American style Jeep and advertising, “Here’s the vehicle that helped kick your dictator’s butt” wouldn’t have worked.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      But you got to give it to them for marketing their vehicles to people like that. They know their consumers.

      Lorenzo, the trouble with that is that Euro automakers don’t change their products to appeal to Americans – they sell on being European. Similarly an American automaker should sell on being American, not being European – irrespective of the companies owner the Jeep brand is through and through an American brand.

      But again, watering down products and selling cheaply made cars as if they possessed capabilities they certainly do not – Sells cars and makes big money. So check mate I suppose.

  • avatar
    13kRPM

    So reading the last two paragraphs the prime location encapsulating those attributes sounds like heaven. If that is the case then there is one specific jeep transmission that may hasten that journey better than others. R.I.P. Anton Yelchin

  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    “[Millennials] want a higher level of human truth, that’s what they want. All you need is your inner compass.”

    Judging by the results I’ve seen so far the inner compass of most millennials leads them to a mountain of student debt, a series of dead-end jobs, and having to put up with roommates well into your late 20s or early 30s in order to pay the rent.

    Financing $20k+ of low-quality CUV probably won’t help with any of that.

    They should probably try following somebody else’s compass for a while.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    And in other news, those looking for a quicker acting method for inducing vomiting than Syrup of Ipecac can now watch Jeep Compass commercials. FDA approval is reportedly forthcoming.

  • avatar
    CaliCarGuy

    I wouldn’t concern myself too much with this. As with most Millennial targeted marketing campaigns dealing with cars, it’ll fall flat and middle aged people and Seniors are going to be the one buying the Compass.

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    I’m in my mid twenties and I like Fleetwood Mac (as well as most groups from around that era).

    Just the other day I was cruising a back road by myself while my wife was away with her Pilates group and blasted Three Dog Night’s “Out In The Country”, because it was so fitting of how good I felt at the time. Nice, clear sky, no one around, crisp air…it was great. Listened to some other 60’s and 70’s classic rock, too.

    I can’t name who’s who in the music scene these days. I don’t like much of anything past the year 2000, save for smooth jazz and some country.

    I am a MINO. Millenial in name only.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      Fleetwood Mac is pretty good but when I want 70s soft rock I want Steely Dan.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Maybe you were “born in the wrong generation”?

      https://www.reddit.com/r/lewronggeneration/top/

      • 0 avatar
        newenthusiast

        “Maybe you were “born in the wrong generation”?”

        I think I certainly was.

        By age, I guess I’m considered a Gen X’er, but music tastes also run to things like Steely Dan, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel, et al when I want to chill, and pretty much any sub-genere of rock from the mid 60’s through the early 90’s you can think of (The Beatles, The Stones, Cream, Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears, Zeppelin, Yes, early Genesis, Queen, Grand Funk, KISS, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Montrose, Rush, Raspberries, Badfinger, Sabbath, Priest, Maiden, Metllica, Slayer, Living Colour, Bad Religion, King’s X, Rainbow, Deep Purple, AC/DC, Tesla, Def Leppard, GNR, Crue, Twisted F’n Sister, Matthew Sweet, Marshall Crenshaw, XTC, The Knack…..etc).

        Grunge and post grunge doesn’t appeal to me at all. So when all my friends were very much in their ‘this my music!’ stage, my music purchasing and live show attendance consumption began to slow down as my favorite bands were figuratively banished from the public acknowledgement for a while. Suddenly, the people who willingly went with me to concerts a year before said my music wasn’t cool, and was cheesy ‘dad rock’ (although, come on…Metallica and Slayer are dad rock?)

        That reddit link is very cool.

        • 0 avatar
          cls12vg30

          Wow, I could have written this. In 1991 I was a freshman in high school and listening to Metallica’s black album on repeat, along with their previous albums. As Nirvana, Pearl Jam et al. came on the scene they didn’t interest me at all. I skipped grunge & “alternative” and pretty much bowed out of popular music until around 1997 when the ska craze popped up. That, I liked. It had horns!

    • 0 avatar
      Menar Fromarz

      If you haven’t noticed, ” rock ” died at least 15 years ago. At least from a mainstream radio is concerned. It’s alive, but relegated to the underground fringe, in favour of the ear splitting male falsetto, Edm and hip schlock looped hell that has become ” top 40 “. Give me the F Mac or anything else from the era any day.

      • 0 avatar
        newenthusiast

        My career started in on air rock radio (although I did end up working in a number of formats). Eventually, I found more satisfaction and flexibility with my hours working in commercial production (voice overs, editing, writing).

        I am well aware of what happened to rock radio, and its current state. You can blame ‘consultants’ for that. In the pursuit of ‘demographics’ that are friendly to national advertisers, too many corporate stations owners took the music programming away from local stations. They were too old and backward looking to see that the 12 year olds who were supporters of Napster way back then would NEVER want their bands to be on terrestrial radio…that would be ‘selling out’. And then streaming changed things even more.

        Meanwhile, GenX and Boomers were still buying music (I bought some music just last week) and still do go to live shows and keep their favorite artists rolling in dough, despite no airplay of their new music.

  • avatar
    427Cobra

    Y’all need to lighten up… sheesh. Each generation is different, & has their own idiosyncrasies. Nothing constructive comes from the “you suck, we’re better” mantra… it just sounds like whining… and EVERY generation does enough of that… and that’s comng from a borderline boomer/gen-Xer in his 50s who listens to anything & everything… 70s rock… new wave… punk… grunge… 60s soul… smooth jazz… trance… yada yada yada. I’m impressed with the technology of the Prius, but also enjoy the rawness of a 427 Cobra. It’s all good. Be nice to each other!

  • avatar
    RS

    Much better than the GM ‘awards’ ads. Those are awful.

    I like the voice that sounds like it’s from the movie Eagle Eye too.

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