- Jeep's "More Than Just Words" commercial, released during the run up to this year's Super Bowl, racked up 106 million online views, breaking a record for parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the company announced. FCA's previous record holder was Ram brand's commercial "Icelandic Vikings" from last year's push timed for the Super Bowl, with 28 million views.
- The commercial, which was released on digital and social platforms on Jan. 31 ahead of the big game, was shared across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube more than 200,000 times with more than 50,000 comments combined and a mostly positive sentiment from fans. "More Than Just Words" was created in partnership with Dallas-based The Richards Group, directed by Mark Toia and features music by OneRepublic.
- While it did not air a TV ad during the Super Bowl, FCA released eight online commercials as part of its "Big Game Blitz," which have collectively accumulated more than 169 million views.
Jeep's "More Than Just Words" spot was part of FCA's efforts to reach consumers on social and digital channels and encourage fan engagement and interaction around the big game — without shelling out for a pricey TV commercial that cost advertisers north of $5 million for 30 seconds of ad airtime. Jeep racking up a larger viewership than the Super Bowl itself, which averaged 100.7 million viewers, a 10-year low, underscores the value of a heavy digital push around the annual championship game and why focusing solely on a costly in-game ad buy may no longer be the most efficient way to reach consumers. Jeep's releasing the spot early likely helped it to drum up excitement leading up to the big game on Feb. 3.
Along with the low ratings, this year's Super Bowl was also the lowest-scoring in history and featured ads that fell mostly flat with viewers. Jeep appears to have hit the right chord with its patriotic creative featuring "The Star Spangled Banner," a diverse cast of Americans and historic footage, which likely created an emotional connection with viewers and inspired them to share the video on social, further extending the campaign's reach. FCA claims fan sentiment was overwhelming positive, with some calling it the "best Super Bowl commercial." Jeep has previously found a winning strategy with patriotic themes and was ranked as the most patriotic brand in Brand Keys' 16th Most Patriotic Brands in America survey.
The high social media engagement likely helped Jeep to build brand loyalty among younger, more digital-savvy consumers at a time when automakers have struggled to resonate with millennials, who are purchasing fewer vehicles than older generations. Jeep has embraced innovative digital formats in previous marketing to appeal to younger viewers. The brand teamed up with the World Surf League on a 360-degree video experience, featuring WSL Championship Tour surfers as they drove around Oahu, Hawaii, in Jeep vehicles. Viewers could access the content on YouTube or via the "Jeep Sessions: Surfing in 360" mobile app.
FCA's Super Bowl push comes just after the company shifted its U.S. media business to Publicis Groupe's Starcom in December, following a six-month review. The account included media buying and planning for FCA's brands, including Jeep. IPG previously handled the account since 2009. Fiat Chrysler spent $970 million on paid media in the U.S. in 2017 and $44 million during the first half of 2018, according to Kantar Media.