After driving “Thunder Road” for decades, Bruce Springsteen is taking a detour on Madison Avenue.
Variety: The musician known as “The Boss” commanded two minutes of commercial time in Super Bowl LV tonight, all part of a mammoth Jeep ad meant to reflect a national mood of coming together after four years of politics and polarization.
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.
It was filmed on location just last Sunday.
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.