Jeep’s nostalgic commercial for its Gladiator pickup truck won USA Today’s Super Bowl Ad Meter, which asks the public to rate ads online with a score from 1 to 10.
In the automaker’s 60-second “Groundhog Day” spot, Bill Murray reprises his role as meteorologist Phil Connors from the 1993 comedy classic of the same name. Stephen Tobolowsky also makes a cameo as insurance salesman Ned Ryerson, and Brian Doyle-Murray appears as the top hat-wearing Groundhog Day master of ceremonies.
The Fiat Chrysler brand shot the ad, which was created by Chicago-based agency Highdive, in Woodstock, Ill., last week -- the same town outside Chicago where the movie was filmed -- making Jeep one of the last advertisers to announce a Super Bowl appearance this year. (Not to be lost on the audience is the fact that Super Bowl Sunday and Groundhog Day both fell on Feb. 2 this year).
Scoring a 7.01 out of 10, the fourth-quarter commercial marks Jeep’s first Ad Meter win, and the first victory for a car brand since Kia took home the top spot in 2017.
But the score makes the commercial the second-lowest-scoring winner in the Ad Meter’s 32-year history. Only Hyundai, which topped the USA Today metric with a high score of 6.90 in 2016, has a lower score among the winners.
Hyundai’s “Smaht Pahk” ad from Innocean came in at No. 2 on this year’s Ad Meter with a score of 6.98. Starring celebrities with roots in Massachusetts, the spot is heavy on Boston accents.