Jeep advertising & marketing assignments

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Selected Jeep advertising

Jeep - "the original sports utility vehicle" - is arguably the jewel in the crown of what is now the enlarged Stellantis business, and the only truly international brand inherited from the old Chrysler Group. Registrations for 2020 were 1.24m vehicles worldwide, down 17% in what was a difficult year for all manufacturers, but still ranking Jeep as the global #15 auto brand. (Within the newly created Stellantis, only Peugeot is larger by volumes but these are concentrated mainly in Europe). In the US too, still Jeep's biggest market, sales boomed in the 2010s, effectively doubling in the space of five years and peaking at more than 973k units in 2018. The figure for Covid-impacted 2020 was 795k. That recent boom took quite a few years to materialise. The vehicle was first introduced by Chrysler subsidiary Willys-Overland during the Second World War as a "general purpose" or GP military vehicle (though there are also other possible derivations for the "jeep" name). Several manufacturers produced their own versions, but only Willys-Overland and its successor companies stuck with the concept after the war, adopting the nickname Jeep as the official brand name. In 1945, it became the auto industry's first mass-market 4x4. The brand underwent a major relaunch towards the end of 2004 under previous owners Daimler in an attempt to recapture the off-road segment, a market originally invented by Jeep but subsequently hijacked by other manufacturers' urban SUV models. That campaign broke late in the year under the slogan, "Jeep. The original dirty four letter word." However, only a few years later the brand came to epitomise the kind of fuel-hungry vehicle consumers abandoned in the crash which followed and sales fell accordingly. Units hit a low in 2009 before making a strong recovery over the following years, helped globally by the introduction of a sub-compact version in 2014, the Renegade, the first Jeep to be produced only outside North America, and then by the restyling of the Compass crossover model as a compact SUV in 2016. The Grand Cherokee, Compass and Wrangler were the brand's top-selling models in 2020 at around 260k units each. In 2021, following the move by several brandowners to eliminate racial stereotypes in their marketing, Jeep came under renewed pressure from the Native American community to drop the Cherokee model name. Talks continue. Jeep's long-time CEO Mike Manley was elevated to global CEO of FCA in 2018 following the untimely death of Sergio Marchionne, and became head of the Americas region in newly created Stellantis. Christian Meunier is CEO of brand Jeep.

Capsule checked 31st March 2021

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Recent stories from Adbrands Update:

Adbrands Daily Update 8th Feb 2021: "The Middle". No one beats Olivier Francois when it comes to scoring the ultimate celebrity marketing coup. Almost a decade ago the former Fiat Chrysler - now Stellantis - CMO managed to persuade Clint Eastwood to drop his long-held reservations about advertising to promote Chrysler. He has also managed to secure the services of Eminem (in 2010) and Bob Dylan (in 2014). For last year's brilliant 'Groundhog Day'parody for Jeep, it was Bill Murray. This time around, Francois was able to persuade The Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen, to make his first ever ad, also for Jeep. The new film, made by Doner and featuring luminous photography of the American mid-West, is much more in keeping with Eastwood's serious film than Murray's comic turn. Springsteen delivers a heart-felt plea to Americans of all political persuasions to abandon the rancour of the past five years and meet again in "the middle" of these Reunited States of America. [Updated: Clearly the message came too soon. According to widespread media reports after the game, roughly half of viewers (mainly Republicans?) responded negatively to that message of unity. The situation was further damaged by subsequent reports that Springsteen himself had been arrested in New Jersey towards the end of 2020 - presumably around the same time the ad was filmed - and charged with driving while intoxicated. The ad was briefly pulled from circulation until charges against Springsteen were dropped for lack of evidence towards the end of February.)

Adbrands Daily Update 15th Sep 2020: "Pale Blue Dot". We'd have to hand it to Fiat Chrysler for being arguably America's most creatively inspired advertiser. All credit to CMO Olivier Francois who has consistently pushed for some of the industry's most memorable car ads over the course of his tenure - Fiat's "Little Blue Pill", perhaps, or RAM's "God Created A Farmer", to name just two, or Bill Murray's first ever commercial earlier this year for Jeep, in a reprise of the movie 'Groundhog Day'. Here's another. After years of gentle persuasion, the widow of renowned astronomer and author Carl Sagan finally gave permission for his celebrated 'Pale Blue Dot' speech - from his book of the same name about the Earth - to be used in an ad for the new all-electric Wrangler Jeep. Credit too to agency Doner, whose idea this first was, back in 2016. Four years later, here's the spectacular result.

Adbrands Daily Update 3rd Feb 2020: "Groundhog Day". This has ended up being one of the better Super Bowls in recent memory in terms of general ad quality. There were still quite a few strong surprises for Game Day that hadn't already been sneak-peeked. One such was this splendid film for Jeep, in which Bill Murray - not the most ad-friendly of celebrities - was persuaded to revisit one of his career highlights with additional twists. The agency was Chicago boutique shop Highdive. This excellent ad, and another equally fine - and even more surprising - film featuring Aquaman star Jason Momoa, have really catapulted Highdive onto a global stage. As confirmed movie buffs here at Adbrands, we especially impressed by the attention to detail in the Jeep ad, with supporting cast members Stephen Tobolowsky (Ned) and Brian Doyle-Murray (the mayor) also resurrected for the homage. Probably a different groundhog though...

Adbrands Daily Update 8th May 2019: Fiat Chrysler poached Christian Meunier, president of Nissan's luxury brand Infiniti since the beginning of this year, to become the new global president of Jeep. He takes over the role from Michael Manley, now global CEO of Fiat Chrysler.

Adbrands Social Media 8th Aug 2018: We recently featured a picturesque spot here from Land Rover filmed in the Himalayas. Now global rival Jeep sees Land Rover and raises the stakes about 1,000 times with this astonishing new film from US agency The Richards Group and director Mark Toia. Part ad, part travelogue, Toia clearly scoured India for every one of its most visually impressive aspects, and then condensed them into a single film. Obviously this is the director's cut, so he has allowed himself carte blanche on the edit, but who can blame him when he has footage like this to choose from. Sit back and enjoy the ride.


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