- The new plug-in-hybrid 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe is due next year, but the message in this ad is timeless.
- A commercial called “Pale Blue Dot” mixes words of Carl Sagan from the Cosmos TV series with images of the upcoming electrified off-roader.
- Even if you’re not a Jeep fan, if you watch the ad, FCA will donate money to fight climate change.
You can—and YouTube commenters certainly do—criticize an automaker’s green messaging if that company has spent decades not exactly leading the way when it comes to environmentalism. But, however you want to frame Jeep’s new ad for its upcoming Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid, it will at the very least be a small step in the right direction. If you want to be more generous, you can say it’s a giant leap.
The moon landing references here are intentional, given that Jeep has come up with a new commercial based on the words of Carl Sagan from his 1994 book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, which included thoughts on the iconic picture of that name, and updates them with images from the 21st century. The company wants to link driving with at least some electric power to “explor[ing] and cherish[ing] the only home we’ve ever known.” On its own behalf, the brand says in the ad, “The Earth is our home and it’s in danger of being destroyed . . . Please help us protect the only home we’ve ever known.”
Jeep is putting some financial muscle behind its words to do that last part, since it will make a charitable donation to combat climate change for each completed, unskipped view of the ad. Exactly how much money the company will donate is not specified, but the recipients will be the Coalition for Rainforest Nations and the Carl Sagan Institute of Cornell University.
Due in U.S. dealerships sometime next year, the 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe is a plug-in-hybrid model that will produce 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque from its gasoline-electric powertrain. It will also offer 25 miles of all-electric range and an estimated 50 MPGe. Jeep already sells Renegade and Compass 4xe models in Europe and the Jeep Grand Commander plug-in hybrid in China.
Jeep’s new ad also supports Cosmos: Possible Worlds, a documentary program from the National Geographic Channel (and currently airing on Fox) hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson that covers the vastness of the universe, what might be out there, and the ways that humanity can shape our future here at home. The “Pale Blue Dot” ad was created in partnership with Cosmos: Possible Worlds producer Ann Druyan, who was married to Carl Sagan from 1981 until his death, in 1996.
“In October 2017, Olivier [François, FCA’s chief marketing officer] came to me with a request to use Carl’s iconic soliloquy to introduce a new Jeep model,” Druyan said in a statement. “For obvious reasons, I asked him to please come back to me when Fiat Chrysler made an electric Jeep.” Two years later, that happened, and the “Pale Blue Dot” ad became a reality.