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Take a Ride on the Wild Side

On the "River in the City" set with Jeep® Cherokee

January 8, 2015

The Jeep® brand turns downtown Vancouver into a wild mountain river to highlight the Jeep Cherokee’s real world capabilities and product features.

The Jeep® brand turns downtown Vancouver into a wild mountain river to highlight Jeep Cherokee’s real world capabilities and product features.

Sometimes, getting away from it all doesn’t mean you actually have to pack up and kiss your everyday life goodbye. The Jeep® brand discovered you just need the right ingredients and a daring imagination to roll out a roadmap to adventure that rivals a Twilight Zone episode for excitement.

Last summer the brand turned a busy traffic-filled highway in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, into a wild boulder-strewn stream surrounded by full-grown trees, brush and even some native animals to give two unsuspecting Jeep Cherokee drivers the get-away ride of their dreams.

The ‘adventure’ is actually a new Jeep brand commercial called “River in the City” that debuted Jan. 4 on national TV.

The drivers were sent on a tour of downtown Vancouver, via the Cherokee’s navigation system. So far, pretty ordinary. Then, a detour sign changed everything!

The inspiration for “River in the City” was a desire to “bring to life the real world capabilities of Jeep Cherokee in a unique approach,” said Oliver Francois, Chief Marketing Officer, FCA-Global, adding that the ad “takes an untraditional approach to create a powerful statement that the Jeep Cherokee can handle anything a city throws at it.”

As for the drivers, it was a get-away-from-it-all experience, and then some.

The unique approach was accomplished to introduce drivers to the versatility and real-world capability of the Jeep Cherokee.

How to Turn a City Street into a Forest

TStaged in downtown Vancouver, Canada along Granville Street, the production crew built the set for “River in the City” just three days prior to the filming. Materials for the build included:

  • 1,000,000 pounds of boulders, rocks and sand (2,500 sand bags), used throughout the set to break up water flow and create surface disturbance
  • 250,000 gallons of water was recirculated through a system of pumps hidden in the alley and other key spots
  • 400,000 pounds of snow – the snowbank was made of snow blanket and fish-ice
  • Logs, sticks, moss, and 80 fir/hemlock trees lined/covered the street
  • The two wolves that appear in the commercial are actually domesticated, mixed-breed wolves provided by Animal Insight for Film and TV.  A representative from the American Humane Association was on set to attest to the humane treatment of the wolves.

After the shoot wrapped, the production crew discharged the water into Vancouver Harbor, and boxed and returned the trees to the nursery. The crew also repurposed the boulders, gravel and other materials.

Take a Detour
The new 60-second “River in the City” commercial can be seen on www.jeep.com/cherokeedetour, which includes special behind-the-scenes footage that includes the making of the campaign, photos, interviews and other exclusive content.

To read more by Betty Newman, visit the FCA Corporate Blog Objects In the Mirror.