It's Groundhog Day for Super Bowl ads with Bill Murray, Hummer's return
It's Groundhog Day at the Super Bowl, and in a commercial for the Jeep Gladiator pickup, actor Bill Murray revisits his 1993 film about a certain Feb. 2 that he lives over and over again. And in another haven't-we-seen-this-before moment, the Hummer marks its return.
Ads for the Jeep and Hummer were released Sunday morning ahead of the game, with both commercials giving glimpses of a transportation future driven by electricity.
NBA star LeBron James introduces the long-rumored GMC Hummer EV, a battery-powered electric pickup truck. Although we never see the entire truck — only the familiar HUMMER badging on a silhouetted grille, with a promised debut date of May 20 — the ad teases the pickup's performance.
Superimposed over the sight and hoofbeats of galloping horses, the words "1,000 horsepower" appear. Then against silence, it continues, "will sound like this." Against the imagery and clanking of a powerful crane are the words "11,500 pound-feet of torque" — silence — "will sound like this." Over the scene of an accelerating superbike are the words "0-60 in 3 seconds ... will sound like this."
Finally, we see James dribbling toward the basket with the words, "Pure dominance ... will sound like this," as the glass backboard shatters. "A quiet revolution is coming" the screen reads. Then a narrator intones, "All-electric. Zero emissions. Zero limits. Hummer EV from GMC."
Likewise, although Jeep's ad is ostensibly about the Gladiator pickup that went on sale last spring, the commercial shows Murray riding a new electric bicycle.
The Jeep e-bike is Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' first step into the micro-mobility sector as electrically powered scooters and bikes spread to cities across the country and world.
Colorado-based QuietKat Inc.'s 750-watt electric motor will power the off-road mountain bikes, which will become available in June, according to a new website. A single charge should last up to 40 miles. The bikes have 4.8-inch-wide fat tires. QuietKat's currently available e-bikes start at $2,699.
Fiat Chrysler now joins its crosstown rivals in offering last-mile transportation solutions in addition to its vehicle lineup. General Motors Co. last year introduced its own ARIV compact and foldable e-bikes for sale in Europe, and Ford Motor Co. in 2018 bought e-scooter startup Spin.
The glimpse of the e-bike in Jeep's commercial is about two-thirds of the way through its 60-second advertisement that reunites actors Murray, Brian Doyle Murray and Stephen Tobolowsky, who reprise their roles from "Groundhog Day."
Twenty-seven years after the movie premiered, Bill Murray's character, Phil Connors, wakes up once again in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, home to the Groundhog Day tradition, to relive the day over and over once again.
But when Connors runs away with the groundhog, his getaway car this time is a Jeep Gladiator, about which he remarks "That's different." He becomes all smiles in the new ride because, as the commercial tells us, "No day is the same in a Jeep Gladiator."
The commercial was filmed in Woodstock, Illinois, the movie's original shooting location, and revisited the same bed and breakfast where Connors wakes up in the morning, same town plaza and same restaurant where he cheers to "world peace."
Sunday is only the second time in the Super Bowl's 54-year history that the game and Groundhog Day have coincided.