Jeep seeks to halt sales slide with new ads

Jeep says the dents and scratches in a vehicle can tell a story.

The brand’s new commercial for the Grand Cherokee shows how these blemishes can bring back memories.

It’s being launched alongside a global campaign for the Wrangler as Jeep strives to avoid a fifth consecutive year of declining U.S. sales. Jeep’s 12 percent drop in the first half of 2023 is the largest decrease among the top 33 brands and contrasts with a 13 percent gain for the industry overall.

The Grand Cherokee spot, called “Dents,” shows an older model of the midsize SUV being present in various chapters of a family‘s life, from a marriage proposal and getting a dog to riding through the woods. At each stage, the Grand Cherokee picks up scars that make the father — who now owns a 4xe plug-in hybrid version — reminisce years later before passing it down to his daughter. The ad was created in partnership with the Chicago agency Highdive.

Olivier Francois, marketing chief for Jeep parent Stellantis, said the ad’s focus is building loyalty rather than conquesting buyers.

Francois said the time was right for a Grand Cherokee campaign as dealership inventory grows. He said the nameplate has logged millions of sales since 1992 and has a place in the hearts of many.

“This is an extended approach to loyalty,” Francois told reporters last week. “Literally a new generation, cross-generational loyalty to the vehicle, and this will allow us to add an emotional and nostalgic level of connection with the customer.”

There is a 30-second TV spot, while a 60-second version is on the brand’s YouTube channel.

U.S. sales of the Grand Cherokee, the brand’s top seller, were down 7 percent in the first half of this year to 124,956.

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