Opinion: Jeep's Super Bowl Ad Won't Unite Us

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Last night’s Super Bowl got out of hand about as quickly as the newsman fight in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.

This meant that I, watching the game home alone since Super Bowl parties aren’t safe these days, turned to the ads to keep myself entertained. Sadly, with a few exceptions, most were as stinky as the game itself.

The ones that were supposed to be funny mostly weren’t, the emotional/inspirational ones were mostly fine but unmemorable, and the one that was so bad that I think it was intentionally terrible for the sake of virality was just annoying.

Sure, a couple of them made me giggle. Cheetos was good – hey there, Shaggy! – and the Bud Light Legends ad made me chortle. There were others I liked, but overall, the body of work from the ad world was bad.

When it came to the car ads, the GM/Norway one with Will Ferrell got a minor laugh out of me, while the Cadillac Edgar Scissorhands spot gets points for effort if not execution. But the Jeep ad was the one generating buzz from the minute it made its way online before the game.

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Feb 10, 2021

    Bottom line: Unity is hard, especially after a presidential election. Some commentator keeps saying, "The remedy is frequent elections", but that's loony talk. As the saying goes, after every election, the country is divided into two opposing groups: those who are afraid the winning candidates won't live up to their campaign promises, and those who are afraid they will.

  • Ryannosaurus Ryannosaurus on Feb 10, 2021

    Tim, Read this post on Monday and have made the decision to stop visiting TTAC. This was the "jump the shark" moment for me. Have been a loyal reader since 2010-11. Watched this site rise and fall, then rise again. Fargo days were a bit rough. Read great articles on the inner workings of the industry. Even sparked an article with a question myself https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/piston-slap-fallacy-believing-engine-hour-meters/ Exchanged emails with Steve Lang about a car purchase and supported Michael Karesh's efforts to track reliability trends. But the best part of this website has been the "Best and Brightest" comments. So many great discussions. Last rides by Crabspirits is worth a shout out https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/04/last-rides-compilation-album/ The downward trend in quality over the last 2 years has been dramatic, but I kept up hope. The constant pro-lockdown opinion you push almost made me leave earlier. But after reading how you admit to being a germaphobe with your description of trying to stay clean while pumping gas, was entertaining and sad. It must be tough for you being in a pandemic when you are already scarred of viruses. I really do sympathies with your feelings and hope you make it through this OK. Unfortunately it is now time for me to say goodbye. Your use of this site to push your politics is too much for me. Reading through the comments (when I originally read through them there were only 75) you can find many examples of thoughtful insights where members brought up different view points and were tolerant of others. Tolerance can only be achieved when you allow people who you disagree with to continue, tolerating things that you agree with is not tolerance. Read that last bit again and let it sink in. Writing off the fears of others (corrupt election) would be similar to me not respecting your decision to avoid contact from germs. Maybe you have a health condition and are at risk, maybe you are just afraid. Either way I respect and tolerate your viewpoint. I wish you could do the same.

    • Tim Healey Tim Healey on Feb 10, 2021

      Constant pro-lockdown push? I seem to recall only arguing in favor of lockdowns once, when Elon Musk was saying things about the coronavirus that were inaccurate, and given his fame, it was dangerous for him to spread it. I don't think I am the person who wrote about being afraid to get sick while pumping gas. I think that may have been Steph. That said, I don't think it's odd at all to take precautions against the coronavirus. It's deadlier than the flu, and even if you get it and survive it can lead to long-term health complications. It also sounds like no fun to have. Finally, you can spread it even if you don't have feel sick. Not wanting to get loved ones sick seems reasonable to me. I am no germaphobe, and I am not immunocompromised, but it just seems like common sense to want to avoid this particular virus. We do respect the opinions of our commenters. Many of them disagreed with me and that's fine! To my knowledge, we didn't ban or warn anyone, and we wouldn't unless they broke our rules. I personally approved five comments stuck in spam that all disagreed with me, including one that was a bit insulting to me (though not quite enough to violate our rules). Finally, cars and politics intersect constantly. Have you not read our news posts on regulatory issues? That said, in 3+ years, I have written only perhaps five or so opinion pieces that I'd say are political in nature. Thank you for reading.

  • Tele Vision Tele Vision on Feb 10, 2021

    Jeep pulled the Springsteen ad. He was caught drunk-driving in November, apparently.

    • See 3 previous
    • 3SpeedAutomatic 3SpeedAutomatic on Feb 11, 2021

      How could an ad agency fail to perform a complete background check on a BIG time celebrity in a BIG time commercial? Somewhat ironic, the DD charge falls into the inflated persona of a rebel in a open top Jeep, defying conventional lifestyles. Is this what Stellantis really wanted?? The internet will be abuzz with conspiracy theories!!

  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Feb 11, 2021

    Perhaps this ad can unite us after all. Most of us can agree that people operating motor vehicles while drunk deserve Society's scorn. Maybe ol' Bruce should get the Gina Carrano treatment. Can't stand him anyway, politics aside. The dude sounds and looks constipated when he sings.

    • Old_WRX Old_WRX on Feb 12, 2021

      Gina Carrano shouldn't have gotten the treatment she did. We really seem to be going down the toilet with this intolerance for people having and voicing their opinions. One of the inescapable liabilities of free speech is that you will hear things that you find offensive, that you disagree with, and that you believe are untrue. I've disagreed strongly with some of the posts on here, but I would never dream of suggesting that those comments be censored or that the authors be punished.