Design Friday. Wieden & Kennedy’s Grand Cherokee TV Spot.

Normally in the Design Friday post, I talk about an influential graphic designer and the work that they created. Today, I am going to go in a bit of a different direction and talk about the latest television advertisement for Jeep, that was produced by Wieden & Kennedy.

Whether you like the Jeep brand or not “Manifesto” is a brilliantly produced, and edited television spot. Heavy on patriotic editorial, and vintage stock footage of Americans at work, and the things we have produced, this ad is stirring.

The sixty-second spot opens with a rail spike being driven and cuts through 3 quick stock shots of trains with a voice over that sets the tone for the entire piece. “The things that make us Americans are the things we make.” A pretty powerful opening statement.

For the next thirty seconds the viewer is treated to a series of clips edited together, highlighting some of America’s greatest industrial triumphs of the 20th century. Iron works, The Empire State Building, The original Jeep, Baseball, the liberation of Europe, the airplane. All of this interspersed with sections of film showing hands on craft, and construction. A little over half way through the ad, we transition to the beauty shot of the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee slicing across an open stream in the american woodlands. As the ad wraps up, the viewer is treated to multiple shots of the gorgeous leather and wood interior which have been intercut with short clips of the manufacturing process. Where this ad truly shines is where the editorial emphasizes, and punctuates the visuals. The editing to the voice over is absolutely spot on.

So how does this relate to Design Friday? Because this TV spot like anything else was ultimately designed by a team of individuals, whose job is sway your feelings. And frankly they have done an excellent job of it. I am not a Jeep owner, nor am I much of a Jeep fan. I know to many people who have had horrific experiences with their products. This ad was a success because I remembered it, and have actually not skipped over it on the DVR. I stopped and watched it again, because of the script and because of the visuals.

The Editorial Overlay:

The things that make us Americans are the things we make.
This has always been a nation of builders – craftsmen.
Men and Women for whom straight stitches and clean welds were matters of personal pride.
They made the sky scrapers and the cotton gins,
Colt revolvers, Jeep 4 by 4’s.
These things make us who we are.
As a people we do well when we make good things, and not so well when we don’t.
The good news is this can be put right. We just have to do it.
So we did.

This our newest son was imagined, drawn, carved, stamped, hewn and forged here; in America.
It is well made and it is designed to work.
This was once a country where people made things.
Beautiful things.
And so it is again.

The new Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The things we make, make us.

There are two very important components to the messaging here. First Chrysler/Jeep hints that they made an inferior product at on point. “As a people we do well when we make good things, and not so well when we don’t.
The good news is this can be put right. We just have to do it.”

The second is where they tell you point-blank, “So we did.”

This small section of the ad sets up the entire final sequence which ties directly back to the main copy. The final ten seconds of the ad are a direct comparison of the craftsman ship between the 2011 Jeep, and how we reminisce about the quality of American products that helped shape our country.

Like Jeep or not, there is no denying that this advertisement is absolutely brilliant. Click the image below to see the spot.

One comment

  1. I agree. I stopped the Tivo to watch it, and I thought the whole thing first rate. Do you know whose voice we’re hearing?

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