Last Sunday during the Super Bowl Jeep launched a two-minute television commercial featuring Bruce Springsteen driving through middle America in one of their vehicles.
The commercial’s core message — based around a chapel that is geographically located in center of the United States — was aimed at uniting a divided America.
Unfortunately, the message (and the commercial) was short lived.
Jeep pulled the commercial this week and removed it from YouTube and other platforms when the news broke that Bruce Springsteen was arrested and charged with DWI, reckless driving, and consuming alcohol in a closed area.
While the details of the arrest are being scrutinized, Jeep made the right decision to immediately pull the commercial. Taking a proactive stance is the best course of action when embroiled in a public relations crisis.
“It would be inappropriate for us to comment on the details of a matter we have only read about and we cannot substantiate,” Jeep said in a statement to the New York Times. “But it’s also right that we pause our Big Game commercial until the actual facts can be established.”
Whether Bruce was legally intoxicated or not, his actions or inaction created this unfortunate situation.
The DWI happened in November. The television commercial was shot in January – two months after the arrest.
So, did Bruce knowingly shoot the commercial thinking the news of the DWI would never get out? Or did his advisors come clean and inform Jeep of the situation, and they opted to move forward and roll the dice?
In either scenario, the calculus did not add up and all parties – celebrity, brand, fans, and customers – ironically, are divided.
However, I think we can all come together and agree that drinking and driving can never be condoned.