by Matt Konkle
Quadratec Channel Editor
The brand long known for its rugged go anywhere and do anything vehicles is now rebranding that message amid the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
And to do so, Jeep is bringing back its mega-popular Super Bowl commercial featuring actor Bill Murray—albeit in a reworked format that continues pushing the company’s current #StayOfftheRoad message as many Americans face stay-at-home orders from state governments.
“We want to send messages of hope, solidarity and optimism to everyone who is doing their part to combat the spread of the virus, for the people staying at home, and to those working on the front lines,” said FCA Chief Marketing Officer Olivier Francois. “Our goal ... is to encourage all Americans whose current conditions allow them to stay off the road to now do so, so that we can get back on it that much sooner.”
The reworked ad released Friday appears across many of Jeep’s social media platforms and features Murray in bed at the start of another Groundhog-type day where he relives the same experiences over and over.
“We understand that every day ... Is starting to feel the same,” the Jeep video opens. The alarm clock flips to 6 a.m. and Murray’s character, Phil Connors, opens his eyes as he’s resting on a pillow. The spot continues, “Stay Home. Stay Healthy.” Then, it switches to a Jeep Wrangler ascending a hill while the caption reads: “When this is all over ... the trails will be waiting.”
The video is part of a larger campaign by Jeep parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles that works to tout responsible behavior to stop the spread of COVID-19, while honoring essential workers such as medical personnel and police officers.
"Everything is so much of a tragedy now," Francois said during an interview with Automotive News. "Normally, I would be very, very cautious with being humorous about the situation; there's nothing to smile about. But, in this case, we started seeing so many posts popping up saying, 'Staying home, it looks a little bit like 'Groundhog Day.'
"It's maybe one of the only tasteful ways to use a smile to encourage people to stay home."