Other than promoting the Gladiator, Jeep also unofficially debuted its latest e-bike in the ad

Amongst the plethora of car commercials that aired during the Super Bowl, the Jeep Gladiator ad touched our hearts the most. The commercial saw Bill Murray step into the shoes of Phil Connor, the disgruntled weatherman from the 1993 movie Groundhog Day. In the movie, Phil finds himself stuck in a time loop wherein he relives the Groundhog Day over and over again. Jeep recreated this scene by filming with few of the original cast at the same locations, while subtly putting its Gladiator into the mix.

Time Travel Back To The ’90s In The Jeep Gladiator

Bill Murray's Super Bowl Commercial With the Jeep Gladiator Was Arguably The Best One This Year
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Jeep had 60 seconds to play with and it made use of every second very well. The ad starts with Bill Murray’s character, Phil Connor waking up to the infamous radio announcement “OK, campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties ’cause it’s cold out there.” He wakes up sad as ever and walks out to see the lovable character, Ned Ryerson.

It’s good to see Jeep create his exact persona after 27 years even though he barely gets any screen time. But Phil’s mood changes when he sees the Jeep Gladiator parked on the side of the road. There are some very nice touches, like the talk with the farmer, playing Whac-a-Mole with the groundhogs in the game instead, and so on.

Jeep has managed to convey the message crisp and clear – although Groundhog Day may be the same every day, the Gladiator manages to make it different. Jeep’s tagline for this ad – no day is the same in a Jeep Gladiator – makes complete sense here.

You can see him laugh and be happy about the upcoming day, unlike how Murray’s character was in the movie. Jeep lightly touched on its own product without trying too hard and still managed to create a strong impression.

Reaching Bill Murray Wasn’t An Easy Task

Bill Murray's Super Bowl Commercial With the Jeep Gladiator Was Arguably The Best One This Year
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FCA’s Chief Marketing Officer, Olivier François, said that it wasn’t an easy task to create this ad. Francois told USA Today that he realized "a few months ago" that Super Bowl Sunday would fall on Groundhog Day. It has happened only twice in 54 years.

But the first hurdle was to reach out to Bill Murray, who has no managers, no representation, or even a phone, for the matter. François said he and Murray went to the same dinner party once upon a time, and they have mutual friends. He added that "it’s a miracle, because obviously the guy has no manager. But he has friends. He has no phone number, but his friends have phone numbers. He allegedly has an 800 number. You leave a message and maybe he’ll call you back."

Bill Murray's Super Bowl Commercial With the Jeep Gladiator Was Arguably The Best One This Year
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Fortunately, Murray got back to him and agreed to reprise the role. The ad even features Bill Murray’s brother, Brian Doyle Murray. USA Today also reports that “they licensed a Sonny & Cher song that plays a prominent role in the movie from Warner Music. And they got the blessing of Sony Pictures, which produced the film, to mirror its themes and characters.” Surprisingly, this is Murray’s first-ever commercial. The commercial also finished first in USA Today’s Ad Meter, which ranks Super Bowl ads by consumer rating with voters giving each ad a score from 1 to 10. This is the first time Jeep has won the title, and only the second time it came in the top 5, since the title’s inception in 1989.

Jeep Used The Commercial To Reveal Its Latest E-Bike As Well

Bill Murray's Super Bowl Commercial With the Jeep Gladiator Was Arguably The Best One This Year
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Jeep perhaps pulled a Tesla here, by revealing a product in its commercial. Well, it’s not as discreet as Tesla during the BladeRunner credits, but the company still showcased a new product – the e-bike that Murray rode with the Groundhog.

QuietKat posted a picture of the Jeep e-bike on Instagram, and it looks spectacular! The e-bike is the latest edition of the QuietKat Fat Tire RidgeRunner. It features a 750-watt e-motor and a battery that offers up to 40 miles of range, full suspension with 12-mm of rear travel, a 150-mm fork, and 4.8-inch tires. It’s also a Class 2 e-bike—which means there’s a throttle—and weighs in at a sturdy 79 pounds. The basket, however, is not offered by QuietKat and Jeep.

Here’s The Intended Star Of The Commercial

Bill Murray's Super Bowl Commercial With the Jeep Gladiator Was Arguably The Best One This Year
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The 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon showcased in the commercial comes packed with the famous 3.6-liter, V-6 Pentastar engine that produces 285 ponies and 260 pound-feet of torque.

It is mated to a six-speed manual transmission as standard, and is also offered with an eight-speed automatic gearbox as optional. In this trim, the Jeep Gladiator comes with Rock-Trac 4x4 System with up to 84:1 crawl ratio. This trim also benefits from a handful of off-road-oriented equipment such as:

  • a two-speed transfer case
  • an electronic sway bar disconnect
  • locking front and rear differentials
  • FOX shocks
  • 33-inch Falken all-terrain Wildpeak tires
  • steel rock rails

On top of that, Jeep has introduced a new Off-Road+ mode that can adjust the throttle response, transmission gearing, and stability control intervention time depending on the situation. The 2020 Gladiator can also tow up to 7,000 pounds and haul 1,250 pounds. The Gladiator Rubicon retails from $43,545.

Final Thoughts

Bill Murray's Super Bowl Commercial With the Jeep Gladiator Was Arguably The Best One This Year
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The sweet commercial surely touched a lot of hearts with Bill Murray’s and the movie’s fans. It has already been viewed over 49 million times on YouTube at the time of writing.

What are your thoughts on this Jeep Gladiator-Groundhog Day commercial? Share them with us in the comments section below.

2020 Jeep Gladiator specifications
Engine 3.6-LITER PENTASTAR V-6
Type and Description 60-degree, V-type, liquid-cooled
Displacement (cu. in. / cc) 220 cu. in. (3,604 cu. cm)
Bore x Stroke 3.78 x 3.27 (96 x 83)
Valve System Chain-driven DOHC, 24 valves and hydraulic end-pivot roller rockers
Fuel Injection Sequential, multiport, electronic, returnless
Construction Aluminum deep-skirt block, aluminum alloy heads
Compression Ratio 11.3:1
Power 285 HP @ 6,400 RPM
Torque 260 LB-FT @ 4,400 RPM
Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
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