In its return to Super Bowl, Jeep has debuted a 60-second commercial featuring Bill Murray reprising his role as Phil Connors from the 1993 film Groundhog Day. In the Jeep Super Bowl spot (watch below), Phil Connors enlists the help of the Jeep Gladiator as his “getaway vehicle” after taking the groundhog, thus significantly altering his days for the better.
The spot opens as the clock turns 6:00 a.m. “I Got You Babe” by Sonny & Cher starts playing, replicating the scene from the film. Phil Connors himself suddenly sits upright in bed. Twenty-seven years later, he’s stuck in Punxsutawney once again.
The Jeep brand worked closely with Sony Pictures to ensure authenticity with the original film, which is now available to buy on disc and digital.
“In my wildest dreams, any advertiser’s dream, really, could you dare to believe that Bill Murray would agree to be in your Super Bowl commercial, and on top of that, ask him to relive his iconic role in ‘Groundhog Day’?,” said Olivier Francois, Chief Marketing Officer, FCA.
RELATED: Watch More Super Bowl LIV Spots
“How do you even have that make sense and not be forced? Magic first happened when I had the incredible luck to meet Bill in person a few years ago, and I knew then that he was perfect for Jeep. Because like Jeep, Bill is a free spirit, he intentionally seeks out ways to find adventure and live an extraordinary life.”
Francois added, “When we learned that Groundhog Day fell on Super Bowl Sunday for the second time in 54 years, we couldn’t help but take that chance. The stars magically aligned. Bill agreed to do the first national broadcast commercial in which he’s ever appeared, and not only that, relive his role as Phil Connors for our Jeep Gladiator. But this time, in our spot, the hero makes a different choice by choosing a different pick-up truck – the Jeep Gladiator – and it changes everything for him.”
“This is my first commercial. I’m glad I did it with you (Jeep),” said Bill Murray. “And I’m glad that this is my last commercial, as well.”
Locations featured in the commercial include the original bed-and-breakfast where Bill Murray’s character Phil Connors wakes up every morning; the Town Square where the Groundhog Day Festival takes place in the original movie; and the restaurant in Woodstock where Bill Murray’s character toasts to “world peace” in the original movie.
The brand also licensed the iconic Sonny & Cher song “I’ve Got You Babe” from Warner Music for use in the commercial.
The Jeep Super Bowl spot was created in partnership with Chicago-based agency Highdive, the Jeep Brand Agency of Record and 2019 Ad Age Small Agency of the Year (Midwest, Gold).
Poppy, the groundhog featured in the Jeep Super Bow spot, is now 10 months old but was rescued at four weeks old, and a birth defect prevented her from returning to the wild. She is currently in the care of a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in Pennsylvania and is a beloved member of the caretaker’s family. Poppy is a state- and USDA-licensed educational animal. Now thriving, Poppy has become an educational “ambassador” for all wildlife.
Directed by Harold Ramis and written by Ramis and Danny Rubin, Columbia Pictures’ Groundhog Day stars Bill Murray as Phil Connors, Andie MacDowell as Rita Hanson, Chris Elliott as Larry, Stephen Tobolowsky as Ned Ryerson, and Brian Doyle-Murray as Buster Green. The classic grossed $70.9 million at the North American box office.
The film is about a weatherman caught in a personal time warp on the worst day of his life. Teamed with a relentlessly cheerful producer (MacDowell) and a smart-aleck cameraman (Elliott), TV weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray) is sent to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the annual Groundhog Day festivities.
But on his way out of town, Phil is caught in a giant blizzard, which he failed to predict, and finds himself stuck in small-town hell. Just when things couldn’t get any worse, they do. Phil wakes the next morning to find it’s Groundhog Day all over again… and again… and again.