It’s “Groundhog Day” All Over Again as Jeep® Brand Debuts Big Game Spot Starring Bill Murray as “Phil Connors” From Iconic 1993 Film
- Jeep® brand launches 60-second “Groundhog Day” television commercial during Super Bowl LIV on Sunday, February 2, 2020, (Groundhog Day) with Bill Murray, reprising his famous role as Phil Connors from original 1993 film
February 2, 2020, Auburn Hills, Mich. – In its return to the Big Game, the Jeep® brand debuts a 60-second commercial starring Bill Murray reprising his role as Phil Connors from the 1993 film “Groundhog Day.” In the commercial, 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.
In the original 1993 film, Bill Murray is at his wry, wisecracking best in this riotous romantic comedy about a weatherman caught in a personal time warp on the worst day of his life. Teamed with a relentlessly cheerful producer (Andie MacDowell) and a smart-aleck cameraman (Chris Elliott), TV weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray) is sent to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the annual Groundhog Day festivities. After a surprise blizzard traps him in small-town hell, things get even worse; Phil wakes the next morning to find it’s GROUNDHOG DAY all over again… and again…and again.
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. “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 continued, “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. Additional facts about the film set can be found here.
The brand also licensed the iconic Sonny & Cher song “I’ve Got You Babe” from Warner Music for use in the commercial.
In the lead-up to Sunday’s Big Game, the Jeep brand began running daily teasers from Thursday (1/30) through Saturday (2/1) across digital and social media, including the brand’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram channels, to tease the commercial. Links to the teasers can be found on the Jeep brand’s YouTube channel.
Consumers will soon be able to pair a Jeep Gladiator and the all-new Jeep e-Bike powered by QuietKat (as seen in the commercial) to continue their own adventure, beginning early this summer. For more information, visit jeepe-bike.com. The Groundhog fun continues with a custom collection of merchandise inspired by the commercial on jeep.com/gear.
The Jeep brand commercial 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
Poppy (now 10 months old) was rescued at 4 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. Additional information on “Poppy” can be found here