Car manufacturer Jeep has decided to revive its blockbuster Super Bowl ad featuring Bruce Springsteen after charges of DWI and reckless driving were thrown out against the singer by a New Jersey judge today.
The 120-second ad, titled The Middle, which debuted at Super Bowl LIV, was pulled by Jeep on February 10 after it was revealed The Boss, 71, had been arrested for drink driving offenses in a New Jersey federal park in November.
The company said at the time that it had chosen to ‘pause’ its broadcast until the ‘actual facts can be established’.
During a virtual court arraignment today, prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss charges of DWI and reckless driving against Springsteen, because he was later found to be well within the state’s limits.
Springsteen did, however, plead guilty to a charge of drinking in an enclosed space. He admitted to the judge he’d consumed ‘two small shots of tequila’ while riding his motorbike through the park in Sandy Hook.
He was handed a $500 fine by the judge and ordered to pay the sum within the next week.
A Jeep spokesperson said today: ‘As we stated previously, we paused the commercial until the facts were established. Now, that the matter has been resolved, we are unpausing the film.’
The spot does something else, too: It ends a decade-long quest by one of the industry’s most colorful marketing executives to convince the iconic artist behind stirring songs like “Born in the U.S.A.,” “Growing Up” and “The Rising” to do something he has never done before — align himself with an advertiser.
The commercial is designed to spur viewers to mend the various rifts that have erupted in the nation in recent years.
“We just have to remember the very soil we stand on is common ground,” Springsteen says as he holds forth from a small chapel in Lebanon, Kansas, with his own 1980 Jeep CJ-5 in the picture.
He adds: “Our light has always found its way through the darkness. And there’s hope up on the road ahead.”
The ad ends with the tagline, “To The ReUnited States of America.”
Springsteen and producer Ron Aniello scored the ad with original music that ends with a lilting violin.
Meanwhile, executives at Stellantis, the large automaker behind Jeep, had no idea the commercial would even be made until a few weeks ago.
Springsteen only agreed to do it after the start of 2021.
WATCH: Springsteen Jeep Ad
Springsteen’s decision comes as many artists and producers of his generation have begun to sell complete or partial oversight of their rights to outside entities.
And it takes place as one of the artist’s favorite activities — touring — has been scuttled by pandemic conditions.
Springsteen released his latest album, “Letter To You,” in October.