The “big game” has become an opportunity for brands to overstate their importance in our lives. Lots of talk. Lots of big themes. Lots of worthy brand statements. And we wanted to stay far away from that well-trodden territory for one reason: because a Jeep, still the most capable vehicle a consumer can buy, speaks for itself.
Our idea for the “Anti-Manifesto” spot was to showcase the Jeep doing what it does best and give the audience a visual reminder of its incredible capabilities.
Because the popularity of the vehicle has never been greater – and as a result we frequently see them around us in our daily lives – one can forget just how amazing Jeeps are. But we rarely see them in their element: scrambling up a rock ledge, fighting for grip or rock-crawling with its suspension fully articulated.
To capture a Jeep doing something that tested its limits, we needed to find a director who really understood what a car can do – someone to find the limit of what a Jeep could endure and capture it in a way that was at once beautiful, yet atypical for a car commercial – which was critical for the “Anti-Manifesto” concept.
Jeff Zwart was the person that we called for this job. Not only is Jeff an incredible cinematographer, but he has spent his entire life around cars and is an accomplished driver in his own right. Having won the famed Pikes Peak International Hill Climb three times with records to show for it, he is someone who has an intimate knowledge of the mechanics and capabilities of automobiles. Jeff also works with Rhys Millen, of the famous family of Baja-winners from New Zealand, a precision driver who has taken off-roading to the limit.
Arnold’s goal was to create the most “un-car commercial” car commercial. No typical “sheet metal” angles, no typical locations that we have seen a thousand times, and no cuts in the film, and absolutely no CG. Just one take, so the audience could appreciate that what is happening in the spot is real. Add to that the voiceover, which is less of a script and more of a commentary.
The end result is a spot that we hope will stand out from the rest, partially because of what it is, but partially for what it is not.