Fiat Chrysler is recreating the 1993 movie “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray for a Super Bowl ad for the Jeep Gladiator pickup.
The light-hearted spots for the Jeep brand feature the acclaimed actor waking up to the same day over and over like he did in the 1993 film — something many have felt like they’ve been doing during the pandemic. But instead of Murray participating in different activities like in the Super Bowl ad, the videos encourage people to stay inside with the hashtag #StayOffTheRoad, a play on the brand’s off-road reputation.
“We understand that every day is starting to feel the same,” says one ad titled “Same Day.” “Stay home. Stay healthy. When this is over the trails will be waiting.”
Fiat Chrysler Chief Marketing Officer Olivier Francois said Murray allowed the automaker to use footage from the Super Bowl ad free of charge.
“He generously and pro bono embraced this idea. He has been amazing,” Francois told CNBC. “Not only was he OK with it, he actively participated on the creative,” including ideas for two of the three ads.
Videos for the automaker’s brands started being released earlier this week and will continue over the coming weeks, according to the company. One of the first videos called “Letter of Hope” was voiced by Francis Ford Coppola, a renowned, Detroit-born movie director, for the Fiat brand. Each video features a different social media hashtag.
Additional videos depicting Jeep’s American heritage are planned as well.
Francois said the idea for the videos came to him when he was in Italy as COVID-19 quickly began spreading across the country in early-March.
“I really wanted to inspire people to stay home,” he said. “It is the right message. We wanted to do our part.”
Videos for other brands encourage people to stay home but also pay tribute to first responders and others on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A video for its Ram Truck brand is more emotional. It features images and videos of people helping one another and families spending time at home as others who need to work do so. Its social media hashtag is #WorkForHome.
“It’s time like these, we all work for home,” ends with before showing the brand’s logo and the “A” of RAM turning into a home.
A video for Fiat Chrysler’s Dodge performance brand features a Challenger muscle car burning out and then transitions to first responders and others on the move and preparing for work.
Fiat Chrysler is among a growing number of automakers to feature COVID-19 related advertising, however most others have been about special financing and deferred payment offers for customers or actions the companies have taken to assist in the pandemic.
Others with coronavirus-related campaigns or ads include Chevrolet, Toyota and Hyundai, among others.