“I bought a Jeep.” There’s only one combination of four words that’s more popular at the moment, and that’s the perennially relevant, “Thank God it’s Friday.” Which is technically five words depending on how you prefer to account for apostrophe usage.
In a time when car manufacturers are finding it harder and harder to stay afloat, Jeep posted a 22% rise in sales last year and enjoyed a double-digit rise in market share. The major factors? The rave reviews and distinguished awards for the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and, of course, the “I Bought a Jeep” campaign put into motion by Melbourne-based ad company, CumminsRoss.
Whether you see the ads as funny or annoying, the one thing that can’t be denied is that “I Bought a Jeep” has become a part of the Australian cultural vernacular. You can’t think of Jeep without thinking of the phrase, and that’s what makes the campaign brilliant. A decade ago, in the midst of the GFC, Jeep was teetering on the brink. Its automobiles were seen as niche vehicles, and they certainly didn’t come to mind when you went out to buy family cars. After all, why would your average family need a 4×4 SUV?
Now, they’re a changed brand: new models like their Grand Cherokee are focussed on giving customers as many options as possible, and that suits the various, specific needs of each individual family. Whether a mum needs to get her kids to and from a mucky soccer pitch or whether the whole family goes for monthly camping trips, the car can be tailored for their needs.
The CumminsRoss campaign has played a big part in letting the public know about this change, and it wasn’t by listing features or prices, but by keeping things simple: they let us know that anyone can buy a Jeep. That’s the message conveyed when the ads portray people from all walks of life uttering the phrase “I Bought a Jeep.” Used cars, new cars, businesswoman, or stay-at-home dad, it doesn’t matter. A Jeep is a car that empowers you, no matter who you are.
So the only question left to ask is: will you buy a Jeep?