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New Gladiator Jeep Ad Controversy

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features, videos

Several folks have emailed about the controversy over the new Gladiator Jeep ad. The new ad shows an old Jeep Gladiator being crushed from which the new Gladiator emerges. Some folks resent the fact that the old Gladiator was crushed, as it appears to be in restorable shape. Given there were over 100,000 of them produced, I don’t think crushing one will cause the world to end. There are also plenty of cheap ones available. I found these two on my very first search:

2 for $3000: https://olympic.craigslist.org/cto/d/bremerton-rare-jeep-gladiator/6799254554.html
1 for $1100: https://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/cto/d/gig-harbor-1971-jeep-j2000-gladiator/6804750817.html

The actual crushing aside, my problem with the commercial is this: If the point of creating a new Gladiator was to benefit from the nostalgia of the original Gladiator, crushing the life out of an old Gladiator doesn’t do that. Nostalgia should be about reliving happy memories not, literally, crushing old memories.

For fun, here’s an old Jeep Gladiator commercial (the first 30 seconds is an introduction, but the remainder of the video is a commercial or 2 separate commercials):

On a side note, there’s already a Jeep Gladiator Forum ready for the new Gladiator.

 

 

22 Comments on “New Gladiator Jeep Ad Controversy

  1. Mike

    Commercial wise, from the stand point of advertising, I thought it was a pretty good commercial. I don’t know why people are getting “BEND OUT OF SHAPE”. (pardon the pun, I couldn’t resist) Mercedes did a similar commercial back in the late 90’s maybe 20000.

  2. bob in pa

    why squish up a nice old truck for any reason? I hope it was all rusted up and it just looked good on that one side.
    That new truck looks great. Better than the old one.

  3. Scott

    Well, if they really crushed the old Gladiator, it’s a bummer…but I’m from MI were we claim “salt free” (for the freshwater lakes), ironically though, our roads are covered in it in the winter and we dream of solid survivors like what that Jeep appeared to be. For the sake of us “rust-belters”, I hope it was a good computer animation!

  4. Joe in Mesa

    Good comments/perspectives. Like Scott, I’d prefer to think they used CGI graphics or similar trickery. And Mike, that old Mercedes commercial kinda choked me up: thanks a lot ;-).

  5. Mike

    Back in the 1980’s, I towed lots of vehicles to the bone yard and viewed lots of cars going into the crusher. Two vehicle nameplates never landed up in the crusher, that being early Mustangs and anything JEEP. they were saved.

  6. lew

    So many other ways to have conveyed the point without destroying a perfectly, and probably relatively simple, restorable vehicle. To the traditionalist in me, I find little in common with the two Gladiators other than a name.

  7. Gliii

    Must be the same ad agency that GM used a few years back. Pretty ballsey comparing the great old stuff with the plastic scrap they currently build. That could be why GM needed a bailout. Maybe the ad campaign will work better for Fiat/Chryco. But I doubt it.

  8. Gayland Leddy

    Controversy aside, I have held off buying a new truck until Jeep came out with this new one. I need it to help haul my older Willys Jeeps to distant destinations (and mayb3 some future projects home).

  9. GERALD HUBER

    No doubt it is an interesting and effective ad for the new Gladiator. The mixed response to the “crushing” of the vintage Gladiator is a testimony to the legacy of the Gladiator trucks in Jeep history but it is also a symbol (as the headlights come on and the compactor equipment fails ) the the Gladiator is reborn – with new life to proudly carry the Gladiator name into the future. Yes, maybe a bit nostalgic but it does bring attention to the new Gladiator — and after all, that is the purpose of the ad. The new JT Gladiator looks ready and capable of living up to the legacy of the older J series pickups. I also like the other ad that shows the silver JT Gladiator towing the vintage Grand Wagoneer.

  10. Joe Deyoung

    Pretty sure that add is completely animated. Head light glow while being crush is a dead givaway.. so says my son the animater. WHEW… almost made me cry! 🙁

  11. Bill Shaw

    Neither 3000 or 1100 are cheap and necessitate wastefulness, crushing that truck was plane wastefulness

  12. Joe Deyoung

    I too wish it would be more retro of the original gladiator. I also would.like to se an offering of a single cab with a full 8′ box. I’d definitely buy that.

  13. Dan B.

    @Joe D, you aren’t alone in wanting a single cab with a full bed, but this is being marketed as a “lifestyle truck,” one that hauls family during the week and hauls and tows gear to fun (often remote) places on the weekends. Not too different than the new Ranger and current Colorado. It will be interesting to see what Nissan does with the Frontier when it is finally updated in a few years.

  14. Matt

    Probably tv magic.. and if it was real, im not going to lose sleep over it. Myself and many other peple have been waiting for a new Jeep truck for years and this one looks great. *AND*, it has a 3rd pedal!! This “Lifestyle truck” is just what im looking for.
    Bring it on!

  15. bob in pa

    Watching the Sunday morning show this morning, they had a segment on the first Cadillac. With fins. And later on there was a 59 caddy driving down the road and then getting passed by a new one, I think it was two years ago so a 2016 passing a 59. That’s how Cadillac handled it

  16. John North Willys

    THE NEW GLADIATOR IS A PUNK-ASS PIECE O CRAP — LOOK AT THE LITTLE TOY BED ? — HAHAHAHA ?? — WHAT COULD YOU CARRY IN THERE ?? — NOT MUCH — A GUCCI SHOETREE ??? — PLUS I HEARD A LOT OF THESE NEW JEEPS CATCH FIRE ?? — BAD FUEL INJECTION HOSES — I WATCHED A VIDEO OF ONE BURNING IN THE WILDERNESS OF OREGON — NOTHING THE GUY COULD DO — FIRE EXTINGUISHER WOULDNT STOP IT — LIKE I SAID — THEY QUIT MAKING JEEPS IN 1971 — WHEN THE CRETINS FROM AMERICAN MOTORS TOOK OVER …

  17. John North Willys

    PS — I HAVE ( 2 ) OF THE ORIGINAL JEEP TRUCKS — 1948 MODEL 4WD — 1948 MODEL 2WD — SO KISS MY @#$%^& CHRYSLER !! ( OR IS IT FIAT ?? OR CHINA ? )

  18. started79

    I’m in my early 20s. To keep it short, I spent a year and a half looking online to find a CJ5 with the right engine, transmission, and color, without any hard to find parts missing. And even then, I still had to replace the floor pans and hat channels. Nothing can replicate the experience of these older vehicles, and I’m already seeing how scarce certain models are getting. Look at first gen broncos for example, they’re either too far gone or 20 grand. The hobby and lifestyle is becoming less accessible and fading out thanks to part outs and things like this. It’s disappointing, and all for a TV ad that nobody will remember.

  19. Mark C

    It looks like the jeep ad is working. Everyone either hates it or loves it, so everyone is talking about the new truck. I think its a nice concept, but not all that useful. But there is a growing group of people who love the newer jeeps and are keeping the brand going. jeep could be a Pontiac, a Plymouth or a Oldsmobile and then where would we be. Maybe if these are popular, they will make a real jeep pickup again, we can hope.

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