Author: Teresa Johnson
Want to advertise on the nation’s – maybe the world’s – biggest stage? No problem. Just pony up a cool $5 million … for 30 seconds.
Super Bowl 50 commercial time came at a premium, and brands from Mountain Dew (puppy monkey baby, anyone?) to Hyundai paid crazy prices to proffer their products to 111.9 million viewers. But the best ad – from any archer or bowhunter’s perspective – came from Jeep.
The manufacturer of these iconic vehicles came through for the bow and arrow sports with “4×4 Forever,” an anthem-driven Jeep commercial featuring a quick (but memorable!) shot of a Boy Scout shooting a PSE bow.
Billboard is calling it “the most Shazamed Super Bowl ad of 2016 – by a huge margin.” And Jeep didn’t follow the tried-and-true formula of using a pop hit to soundtrack its cinematic masterpiece. Instead, it commissioned an original piece of music performed by Morgan Dorr, bass player of the pop-punk act Boys Like Girls.
The ad’s impact for archery is unmistakable, even if it’s not precisely measurable. The 60-second ad, which likely cost nearly $10 million for airtime alone, featured the bow and arrow for about 2 seconds. The shot itself – the boy releasing the bowstring with his fingers, and an expression of sheer wonder on his face – is priceless. It fit perfectly with the rugged, outdoorsy feel of Jeep’s brand.
Jeep’s global chief marketing officer, Olivier Francois, told Billboard the brand hopes to differentiate itself in the highly competitive SUV market.
“We all know this group of people [millennials] doesn’t like classical advertising,” Francois said. “They don’t want us to just slap some hits they already know in a commercial. They want to discover trends. So, we have to behave like them and discover trends and share. We started with big names before. But today, I’m developing a very intense dialogue with millennials through emerging artists.”
With a massive surge in recreational archery in recent years, Jeep might have latched onto a key target market: About 21.6 million Americans shoot archery, an ATA study found in 2015. And it’s a sport generally enjoyed outdoors. The only thing better than a brand new bow – or a brand new Jeep? Seeing your new bow in the back seat of your new Jeep.