Bruce Springsteen ‘Decided in a Minute’ To Star in the Jeep Super Bowl Ad, Manager Says

Every year, certain Super Bowl commercials are remembered. They’re discussed after the game and, in some cases, go on to become classics. In the case of Super Bowl 55, one that’s still being talked about hours after airing is Bruce Springsteen’s Jeep ad.

The Jeep commercial is about bringing Americans together

The two-minute spot titled “The Middle,” features Springsteen aka The Boss, visiting a tiny chapel in Lebanon, Kansas. Along the way, he narrates. First he provides details about the chapel. “Standing on the exact center of the lower 48. It never closes, all are more than welcome,” he said. 

Then comes the talk of Americans needing to find common ground, or “the middle.” 

“It’s no secret, the middle has been a hard place to get to lately, between red and blue … between our freedom and our fear,” he said. 

Meanwhile, a score written by Springsteen and Ron Aniello plays while the Grammy winner drives through the small town’s snowy streets. 

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Bruce Springsteen’s decision to be in a Super Bowl ad was ‘spontaneous’

Springsteen’s longtime manager, Jon Landau, opened up about how the “Thunder Road” singer came to be the star of a Super Bowl ad while speaking to Billboard in February 2021. He revealed that it wasn’t planned.

Olivier Francois, the global chief marketing officer for Jeep’s parent company, Stellantis, sent over the details about the commercial and Landau and Springsteen spent all of 60 seconds deciding. 

“This was a spontaneous decision,” Landau said. “Olivier sent me the treatment, and I sent it to Bruce, we got on the phone and decided in a minute. It was like, the material’s great, we knew we could make it greater, let’s go. That was about it.”

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 9th annual Stand Up For Heroes event
Bruce Springsteen performs at the 9th annual Stand Up For Heroes event | Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science

For years, Francois had been sending Landau ideas for Super Bowl commercials starring Landau says he and The Boss “automatically turned down.” Then came “The Middle.”

“This time he sent us the outline and rough for ‘The Middle,’ and Bruce and I had the identical reaction: ‘Let’s do it,’ Landau said.

Springsteen didn’t just star in the Jeep commercial, he wrote much of the script. As Landau said, Springsteen “substantially revised” an already “excellent original script” by Mike Stelmaszek. 

“Ultimately, Bruce controlled every second of what you see and hear, and that’s why it feels so personal. Because it is,” Landau said.

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Bruce Springsteen performed at the Super Bowl in 2009

This isn’t the first time Springsteen’s been part of the Super Bowl. In 2009, he headlined the Super Bowl halftime show with the E Street Band. The Arizona Cardinals faced off against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Springsteen was there to rock the stage with some of his greatest hits. He played a medley featuring “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” “Born to Run,” “Working on a Dream,” and, “Glory Days.”

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