Jeep Returns to the Big Game With a Little Help From Bruce Springsteen

February 9th, 2021 by

Jeep returns to the big stage with yet another impressive Super Bowl ad. Last year, in an effort to showcase its all-new Gladiator pickup, Jeep solicited some help from actor Bill Murray for its big game ad, and 2021 is no different, except this time it’s Bruce Springsteen at the helm. The musician and automaker joined together to launch a two-minute film titled “The Middle.” It’s officially available on the brand’s social media channels and made its debut during a one-time appearance during the second half of the game. “The Middle” debuted nearly 10 years to the day from the launch of the memorable “Imported from Detroit” campaign that starred Detroit-born rapper Eminem. 

Springsteen, known for his reticence of commercial endorsements, was intimately involved with the production of the short film. He worked with frequent collaborator director Thom Zimny and wrote the original score with close collaborator Ron Aniello. The latest Jeep brand campaign for Super Bowl LV was created in partnership with Doner Agency in Michigan. 

“From ‘Imported from Detroit’ and ‘Halftime in America’ to ‘Farmer,’ and most recently ‘Groundhog Day,’ we have looked at making meaningful and emotional connections with millions of viewers, with cultural relevancy at the core of our communication. ‘The Middle’ is a celebration of the Jeep brand’s 80-year anniversary and, more timely, it is a call to all Americans to come together and seek common ground as we look collectively to the road ahead,” said Olivier Francois, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Stellantis. “Bruce Springsteen was instrumental in crafting this joint message. His experiences and perspective have often been called upon to bridge a divide. Now seems to be a time when a message like this is greatly needed,” added Francois. 

Over the past decade, Jeep, Dodge, and Ram brands have gravitated to aspirational messaging in their Big Game ad campaigns. “Imported from Detroit” debuted in 2011 and showcased the ingenuity, grit, and determination of the American automotive workforce based in Detroit. In 2011, the automakers followed up with “Halftime in America” starring Clint Eastwood as they encouraged Americans during the challenging times of the Great Recession. “This country can’t be knocked out in one punch. We get back up again,” says Eastwood as he narrates. Then in 2013, sister brand Ram Truck launched “Farmer,” narrated by radio personality Paul Harvey, acknowledging and honoring American farmers as they lived and worked through the crisis. 

Unlike previous years, Jeep didn’t drum up excitement in the lead up to the Big Game. But there’s also something else that’s different this time as well — the ad itself doesn’t explicitly mention any specific Jeep model. Instead, Jeep opted to drum up excitement for the message about meeting one another in the middle as citizens. Only a 1980 CJ-5 makes an appearance in the ad as Bruce Springsteen drives around, but the focus remains very much on what it means to meet in the middle. Check out Jeep’s game day ad below:


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Photo Source/Copyright: Jeep/Stellantis
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