Driving a Jeep is all about freedom on and off the road, and the latest campaign for the brand utilizes a hip-hop anthem to propel those feelings of freedom.
“Famous for Freedom” is the latest global marketing campaign for the 2024 Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Wrangler 4xe, a vehicle long-known for top-down, off-roading fun. The spot from agency Highdive features the famous track “California Love,” by Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre, and it’s the first time the song will be used in an automotive commercial (though not the first time in advertising, as Beats by Dre used it before).
As the catchy track plays its thumping rhythms, scenes of Wrangler’s driving through California landscapes, capturing the culture, scenery and lifestyle that make the Jeep Wrangler and “California Love” track so iconic. Scenes from the Pismo Beach Sand Dunes to the Los Angeles skyline bring the lyrics of the track to life. It also features several real Jeep brand owners making appearances throughout.
“Famous for Freedom” was directed by Grammy winner Dave Meyers at RadicalMedia, who has directed videos for artists including Drake, SZA and Kendrick Lamar, as well as numerous commercials.
How it came together
Jim Morrison, senior vice president and head of Jeep brand North America, noted in a press call that the brand just hit the five millionth customer mark for the Wrangler.
“With roots all the way back to what it looked like in 1941, Wrangler really drives our business,” said Morrison.
He went on to say that those five million people are part of the Jeep family and the community, people who see other Wranglers driving the other way and wave to each other.
“The team has done a great job of illustrating that in the in the new TV creative,” Morrison added.
Jeep and Highdive wanted to capture the feel of driving a Wrangler with the top down, doors off and sun in your face, which creates a sense of freedom like nothing else, according to Chad Broude, co-founder and chief creative officer at Highdive, adding that for the campaign, they wanted the ultimate anthem that also has the ability to take people immediately to a free state of mind.
“No matter who you are, or where you are, when ‘California Love’ comes on, it does exactly that. You forget the world for a second as you almost involuntarily nod to the beat and experience pure freedom for a moment. Driving a Jeep Wrangler and ‘California Love’ are both ‘Famous for Freedom’ and every ad in this campaign will also live up to that standard,” Broude told Adweek.
The California locations were important to both the feel of freedom in a Wrangler, as well as the soundtrack.
Broude said freedom can happen “in traditional off-road locations like epic sand dunes or sitting in traffic—you just need the right vehicle with the right song. So, it was important to showcase a wide range of locations because, in a Jeep Wrangler, freedom is where you find it.”
Utilizing Meyer as a director also helped capture the immediacy of the moment.
“Dave has a long-standing pedigree of delivering musically driven stories. He’s one of the best to ever do it. Working with him gave us confidence to tell the ‘famous for freedom’ story in an authentic way. Additionally, we loved his vision for shooting city ‘on-road’ driving footage in a way that was just as exhilarating as ‘off-road,’” said Broude.
Lucy McLellan, senior vice president, global head of marketing and communications for the Jeep brand said that the campaign celebrates the Wrangler’s off-road capability and also the unique lifestyle it enables.
“There’s no better way to do that than to feature a number of our loyal Jeep Wrangler customers in the campaign to ensure the essence of the Jeep community is authentically captured,” said McLellan.
While California is at the center of the campaign, local markets around the globe have the ability to use local culture and inputs for their spots. The global campaign will also air in Europe, China, Korea, Australia and other markets around the world, including Japan, the largest Wrangler market outside of the U.S. and Canada.