The Jeep Wrangler zoomed its way into Jurassic Park lore in 1993 when it sped away from a charging Tyrannosaurus rex in one of the highest-grossing films of all time.
Jeep is leveraging that prehistoric stage again nearly 30 years later in Jurassic World Dominion, the sixth and purportedly final film of the series.
The Wrangler, the Gladiator and a vintage Grand Wagoneer appear in the latest film, which is accompanied by a broad Jeep ad campaign that launched last week. The tie-up with Universal Pictures hits several pillars that make for effective marketing, Stellantis marketing chief Olivier Francois said.
“Everything me and my team have been creating during my 14 years at the helm of our marketing is focused on three things: relevance, authenticity and meaning,” Francois told reporters last week. “If you have that consistently, you’ll get down the funnel with a high level of engagement, consideration and ultimately sales. As I always say, one lasting impression counts more than millions of impressions, which is why creativity is key even in the times of digital marketing.”
Stellantis’ U.S. predecessor, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, had a history of using themed ad campaigns and product placement in Hollywood blockbusters such as Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens in 2015 and the Fast & Furious franchise.
The Jeep effort for Jurassic World Dominion includes a 30-second TV commercial along with content on social channels such as a longer version of the ad and a behind-the-scenes look at its creation.
Dealers are being given access to downloadable posters and movie tickets to give to their clientele.
Jeep achieved the authenticity goal, Francois said, because its inclusion in the film was a natural fit.
“Jeep in a Jurassic film makes sense to everyone. It’s not forced,” Francois said.
“It doesn’t smell like marketing. It’s part of the narrative.”
The new Jeep spot, which highlights the plug-in-hybrid variants of the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee, stars a baby Carnotaurus that was specifically created for the commercial.
Visual effects studio Industrial Light & Magic, which has lent its expertise to all the Jurassic films, made the digital dino for the ad.
A Wrangler 4xe owner finds the hatchling and attempts to raise it, but the dino soon starts scaring unsuspecting neighbors.
Industrial Light & Magic began working on the baby dinosaur before the script was fully developed, said Graeme Puttock, a visual effects producer.
Puttock said there’s only been one Carnotaurus fossil found to date, a nearly complete adult skeleton.
During the creative process, Puttock said the effects team had to reference other theropods, which are carnivores of a similar size, while also using “a bit of creative license” to craft the look of the Carnotaurus.
“We knew we needed the baby to look recognizably like a Carnotaurus, but it also had to be cute,” Puttock said. “We wanted lots of character.”