Last night’s Super Bowl LV was a game for the history books. And while other publications will certainly spend the next few weeks analyzing every play and every snap, that isn’t quite what we do here. That said, not every historical event last night related directly to the game on the field. In fact, Jeep managed to make a bit of history themselves with their “The Middle” commercial, thanks to an appearance by the legendary Bruce Springsteen. In his first ever commercial appearance, The Boss narrates an ad unlike what we’re used to seeing, which is fitting for these unusual times.
Unlike most of the car commercials that we are used to seeing on our TV screens, “The Middle” actually features very few automobiles. In fact, neither the cars that are seen throughout the ad currently on sale, seeing as they are both vintage Jeep CJ-5s. Instead the commercial kicks off with Springsteen introducing us to the U.S. Center Chapel in Lebanon, Kansas. This small chapel is the geographic center of the continental United States, and serves as the basis for Bruce Springsteen’s impassioned pleas for national unity.
“It’s no secret … The middle has been a hard place to get to lately,” said Springsteen. “Between red and blue. Between servant and citizen. Between our freedom and our fear. Now, fear has never been the best of who we are. And as for freedom, it’s not the property of just the fortunate few; it belongs to us all.”
After inviting everyone in the States to find some middle ground, the end of the ad is dedicated “To the ReUnited States of America.” From there, we get a quick nod to Jeep’s own 80th anniversary, which is taking place in 2021. Not a lot of car-related action in this one, but there is a reason for that.
This latest ad was created by Olivier Francois, the chief marketing officer of FCA, now turned Stellantis. You may recall some of his previous work from past Super Bowl Games, including the companies’ 2012 effort starring Clint Eastwood. Like “The Middle”, that ad featured much more scenery and pro-American messaging than actual vehicles. In fact, Francious told CNBC that this latest ad is meant to be a continuation on those previously addressed themes.
“It is absolutely meant to be a successor,” Francois told CNBC. “This is our style. This is our language. This is our approach to Super Bowl. We really were trying to achieve a little bit of what we achieved in these other commercials, which is really relevance and meaning and something that will really tap into the moment.”
Hop online today and you are sure to come across a variety of different opinions related to the advert. That is to be expected, considering there is a bit of a political twist to the 2-minute commercial. More than anything however, the ad is intended to make you proud to be an American. Proud of what that has meant in the past, and proud of what that means we can be in the future. I’d take that over the corny onslaught of ads we are used to being peddled during the Big Game any day.