UPDATE, February 12: In an awkward new development for Jeep, its big Super Bowl ad, 'The Middle' – calling for the left and right of America to find unity – has been moved to 'private' on the carmaker's YouTube channel.
Why? It turns out the star of the ad, 'The Boss' Bruce Springsteen, was arrested on a charge of drink-driving and reckless driving in November last year. Springsteen is due to face court in the coming weeks.
It's unclear how this detail failed to make its way to Jeep's marketing team, and the brand isn't offering much in the way of comment. For now, it has said the following to American news outlet CNBC:
“It would be inappropriate for us to comment on the details of a matter we have only read about and we cannot substantiate. But it’s also right that we pause our Big Game commercial until the actual facts can be established.”
It's a sorry moment for Springsteen, particularly as the iconic singer had previously maintained a decades-long position of not appearing in any sort of advertisement. It's understood he felt moved by Jeep's call for unity – but it seems the small matter of a drink-driving charge may have slipped his mind. 2020 was a long year.
The ad has been made private on Jeep's YouTube page, but you can view a re-uploaded version below – until YouTube removes it, at least.
The story to here
February 5, 2021: While Americans are gearing up for the Super Bowl LV annual American football championship, the rest of the world relishes in watching the entertaining commercials shown during the ad breaks.
The Super Bowl is one of the most-watched television events in the world, regularly raking in viewers in the hundreds of millions.
That insane viewership figure is the reason why companies pay upwards of A$9 million per 30-second ad slot, and that’s before you account for the production costs of the ad itself. Many of these ads involve celebrities with big-dollar paycheques and expensive stunts.
That said, it’s a cost many automotive manufacturers are willing to bear in order to get their products in front of the eyes of the world.
In anticipation of this year’s event, we’ve collected some of our favourite car ads that’ll air during the big game.
Ford: Finish Strong
Ford used its big ad slot to reflect on a year unlike any other. Its #finishstrong campaign promotes unity and empowers the public to keep going as "we're so close" to seeing the other side of this pandemic.
It's a commercial that doesn't advertise any of its cars, though still sends a strong message about Ford's commitment to beating this pandemic by touting its own Covid-19 mitigation efforts.
General Motors: No Way Norway
GM's airtime promotes its newly-formed plan to switch to electric-only production from 2035. It features Will Ferrell, the new GMC Hummer electric vehicle, some good-old national pride and a lot of jokes at Norway's expense (a country with notoriously-high EV uptake).
Another one with no actual car advertisement, this emotional Toyota commercial signifies the brand's sponsorship of the Team USA Paralympics squad by telling US Paralympian Jessica Long's story.
Weathertech: American Dream At Work
American parts manufacturer Weathertech is always good for a big-dollar ad spend. This ad shows the world that the company is an employer of choice with a workplace that respects its employees as much as does its customers.
Vroom: Dealership Pain
Vroom offers a hassle-free car buying experience that this ad-spot goes to dramatic lengths to point out. Instead of feeling threatened (or tortured) into buying a car, Vroom is an online car marketplace that delivers a brand new car to your home, contact-free.