The first big marketing splash for Stellantis since its creation last month turned out to be more of a belly-flop.
After winning last year's USA Today Ad Meter rankings of Super Bowl ads, Jeep got mixed reactions to this year's commercial, a two-minute film starring rock icon Bruce Springsteen.
Some viewers objected to the ad's political overtones; Republicans disliked hearing a plea for unity from a vocal Democrat; Democrats called the ad tone-deaf after supporters of former President Donald Trump rioted at the U.S. Capitol last month; non-Christians labeled the use of a cross as divisive rather than unifying.
The commercial also sparked a minor controversy in Jeep's home state of Michigan, because a U.S. map shown at the end was missing the state's Upper Peninsula. The map was taken from a historical stone marker near the filming location, but that didn't stop some local media outlets from making an issue of the omission.
And that was all before the website TMZ broke the news that Springsteen, who was filmed behind the wheel of his own 1980 Jeep CJ-5, had been arrested in November and charged with driving under the influence. That revelation prompted Jeep to remove the ad from YouTube after it had racked up 37 million views.