Ghastly. Unspeakably bad. Pompous. Empty. These are but a few of the descriptives that coursed through our mind as we watched what may be a new low in the world of consumer advertising, namely a new TV commercial for Jeep from Global Hue in Southfield, Mi., called "Time."
Even as the bar for acceptable advertising has dropped lower and lower in recent years, not much out there rises above the merely acceptable. But rarely have we come across a spot as bad as "Time," part of a new campaign with the tagline "I live. I ride. I am. Jeep." The campaign is to be formally unveiled Wednesday during a seven-hour presentation by Sergio Marchionne, the new CEO of the Chrysler Group and the reigning CEO of Fiat.
Marchionne and his underlings reportedly will talk tomorrow about their grand plan for turning around the Chrysler company and breathing new life into the beleaguered Detroit auto industry -- new life funded in large part with bailout money from our federal government.
But if this new Jeep campaign -- as vacuous as it is -- is any indication of how Marchionne and his crew hope to make Jeep a better, more in-demand brand, then there's big trouble ahead. We've looked at "Time" several times now, and it's absolutely impossible to comprehend what the message is supposed to be. Somewhere hidden inside the impenetrable voiceover copy there seems to be a statement trying to come out about what kind of people will appreciate the Jeep brand. But the spot is so busy trying to be clever and important and impactful that the point of it is totally buried - leaving us with what is basically 30 seconds of slickly-edited visual and verbal gibberish. And that vapid tagline is surely one of the worst ever conceived.
After watching "Time," one is invariably forced to wonder who could be foolish -- or dim-witted -- enough to green-light drivel like this? We can only point the finger of blame at Marchionne and hope he quickly comes to his senses.
Lew's view: F-