There’s so much to wrap your head around in the AMC Jeep CJ-7 commercial below. It’s kind of like everything which was ruggedly individualistic at the time was crammed onto the screen, save only Chuck Norris. If he had been in this Jeep commercial it would’ve been absolutely perfect. Still, it’s great, so check it out and then read on.
It’s no coincidence that the final Jeep CJ, the CJ-7, took the biggest leap forward in modern design and features. AMC was trying to include more people in off-roading culture by doing things like stretching the CJ-7 wheelbase by 10 inches versus the CJ-5. Overall it had a more finished look, so AMC was wanting to get the message out that this was the vehicle for all those rugged individuals. What better way to prove that then to show a guy riding a buffalo – or is it a bison?
Everything from the cheesy synthesizer-heavy music to the woman’s feathered-out hair just screams 1980s. It would be great if an automaker ran a commercial like this today, but can you imagine the social media outrage and efforts to “cancel” the car?
Just as interesting is the fact that the overall messaging for the CJ-7 back in 1983 is strikingly similar to how Fiat Chrysler markets the Jeep Wrangler today. “The thrill of the wild, one vehicle captures that feeling with the strength and agility to master most any terrain.” Isn’t that exactly what we’re told as off-roaders splash through streams, glide over sand dunes, and so forth?
Overall, this just proves people back then, just like today, have that urge to get out into the wild. While you can do that by strapping a backpack on and walking until you get blisters between your toes, speeding on a bumpy trail in a Jeep is far more exciting. The Jeep brand has known this for a long time and that appeal works beautifully.
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