advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Jeep—The new Hummer?

This isn’t about the new Jeep “I am” work that broke last month, because I pretty much ignored it. Except for, maybe it is. (Not to knock the agency, but it’s real hard to believe GlobalHue’s tagline is not derived from “I Am Ram,” or vice-versa per input from Jeep. Someone is riffing off someone here. Ad bloggers People outside the agency really do notice these things.)

Ennyway, I was shoveling today as a 2010 Jeep FUCKING TANK Commander came flying down the street doing, say, conservatively 50 in a 25. First thought: Congrats Jeep—your brand truly inherited the Hummer A-Hole mantle. The thing was not only a tank, but also, not the first one* I’ve seen driven fast by an idiot on a cell phone.

So I went back to revisit the Jeep work after sprayed slush incident, and it only makes me think the brand is now trying for something bigger than what it once was, and in the process, destroying the character the name had built.

Sure, the Cherokee was always the car they needed to compete in the SUV category, but they seemed to be low-key about it. (Diss-claimer: I owned one mid-nineties.) For a long time though, people who drove a Jeep Wrangler were outsiders, but in a good way. They were free spirits who seemed a little different.

Now, the brand and product line come off like the self-absorbed “live for me and to hell with everyone else” H2 drivers people grew to despise.

And y’all know how THAT brand wound up.

*Yeah, I know. Drivers of all types of cars go fast while talking on their cell, but, this just enhances the H2 “love” aspect of things.


Anonymous said...

According to agencyspy and the like, GlobalHue began working on the Jeep business before the agency that did Ram (the Richards Group) did. Also, the Jeep work launched before the Ram work so perhaps its the client wishing to give some of their nameplates a more human, personal touch...

mtlb said...

My sources told me Global Hue had come up with this on their own as well. Whether Richards started their work first or Global theirs is moot given the similarities in message. SOMEONE was handed the other’s direction and was either told to or decided to follow it.

The Ram work launched here in the East before the Jeep work did though. Regardless of that (or whether the brand wanted to ad a human touch), the campaign has all the earmarks of a brand wanting consistent (read: similar message) across different brands (read: same old thing, Detroit).

And regardless of all that, the point is Jeep now feels like Hummer. ;-p

Anonymous said...

Does it matter who came up with the idea first, or even if they came up with the idea independently? The net is, the idea is lame. That the automaker would see fit to use the same shitty idea on two nameplates says more about the client than the agencies. Although both agencies should be embarrassed for having produced the garbage to begin with.

Chris Baccus said...

I believe the influence of the client is strong. Very strong. The Chrysler Group CMO who hails from Fiat is even recycling every ad done prior by the Fiat brands in Europe - so far Lancia and Fiat ( The "I am" work seems very heavily client influenced too and I'd be shocked if they weren't the brainchild of the client more than the agencies.

Anonymous said...

Wow, if Baccus is correct, it only shows how messed up Chrysler is for regurgitating past work. And how pathetic the agencies are for appeasing a lousy client with contrived creative. So much for thinking Fallon is a strong creative shop.

Chris Baccus said...

I think the jury is still out on the strength and influence of Fallon. They had just won the account when the Coming Home spot was done. They were not involved with the "I am" commercials. Let's wait and see if one of the new agencies is able to influence client directive. So far it looks like a big no, but all of these relationships are in the early stages. I'm very interested to see what happens when Chrysler marketing actually has something exciting to talk about like new product.