Full disclaimer: I’m a Jeep guy. I drive a Wrangler. Don’t want to drive anything else. Between my wife and I, we’ve owned four Jeeps. I also used to work for an in-house ad agency that had several DCX dealerships – two of them sold Jeeps. I love ’em. So it is with a degree of puzzlement, chagrin, and concern that I ask, what were they thinking with this latest TV ad?
You’ve probably seen ads already for the Jeep Commander – the new, top ‘o the line, 7-seater that looks like an old Jeep Cherokee on steroids. Nice. But this latest ad does it NO justice. I’m referring to the ad that begins with a view of some sharks that’s seen only by (very brave) SCUBA divers. As the spot continues, we discover that it is ostensibly a view from the second row seats inside a Commander, where two occupants have their own mini moonroof. A fine-print caption appears as a disclaimer, stating that this is “fictionalization” – Commanders are not designed to be driven submerged.
What in the Sam Hill is going on here?
Jeeps are tough. They are great off-road and on. They don’t need this kind of Hollywood special effects nonsense to make that point. But the ad agency brain trust working for Jeep has reduced the Commander to some kind of (bad) joke in 29.5 seconds.
Don’t get me wrong…I love good ads. I create TV ads myself, and I aspire to create great ones. This ad is well-produced, and with any other product would be, if not clever, at least different. But not for Jeep.