Bruce Springsteen arrested for drunk driving at New Jersey nationwide park

Bruce Springsteen performs on stage during the 13th Annual Stand Up for Heroes to benefit the Bob Woodruff Foundation at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden on November 4, 2019 in New York City.

Mike Coppola | Getty Images

Working-class rock legend Bruce Springsteen was arrested in a New Jersey national park late last year for drunk driving, the Home Office said Wednesday.

The news surfaced just days after the rocker appeared in a Super Bowl commercial.

Springsteen, 71, was “cooperative throughout the process” when he was arrested on November 14 at Jersey’s Gateway National Recreation Area, known locally as Sandy Hook, National Parks Service spokeswoman Brenda Ling noted.

The “Thunder Road” singer has been cited for driving under the influence of reckless driving and drinking in an enclosed space.

Last November, Springsteen’s new album “Letter to You” debuted at number 2 on the new Billboard 200 chart. With this placement, Springsteen became the first musician to have a new top five chart album in each of the last six decades.

News of Springsteen’s arrest comes just days after the musician appeared in his very first Super Bowl commercial. In the Jeep ad, Springsteen urged Americans to find the unit after a divisive year.

“There is hope on the road ahead of us,” said Springsteen in the two-minute commercial in which he drove a Jeep CJ-5 over country and city roads.

Springsteen and Jeep spokespersons did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on his arrest.

In Springsteen’s autobiography “Born to Run”, published in 2016, the musician admitted that he avoided drugs and only tried alcohol at the age of 22, also because drinking influenced his father.

In the 500-page book, Springsteen revealed that he had a long history of depression, a surprise to many.

Springsteen has been praised by his fans and bandmates for his healthy lifestyle habits, like going to the gym and avoiding drugs and alcohol, that give him the stamina to give decades of concerts in his career.

“I mean, I’m sure he’s had a drink or two a few times in his life, but he’s never been a drinker either,” said Steven Van Zandt, musician in Springsteen’s famous E Street Band, in an interview with Rolling Stone.

Springsteen’s arrest was first reported by TMZ early Wednesday.

How Jeep landed Bruce Springsteen for its 2021 Tremendous Bowl advert

Bruce Springsteen starred in and narrated a two-minute Super Bowl ad for Jeep that featured far more Americana and scenery than any other vehicle.

Rob DeMartin for Jeep

Jeeps Super Bowl advertisement with Bruce Springsteen Olivier Francois, an automotive marketing manager best known for convincing A-list celebrities to appear in such ads, was a decade in the making.

Every year since 2011 Francois said he had an idea for one of Springsteen’s manager Jon Landau Super Bowl advertisement. It became something of a tradition, although Francois believed there was little chance that this would happen.

Why Springsteen, who had never appeared in a commercial before? It goes back to the automaker’s former CEO Sergio Marchionne who died unexpectedly in 2018. The Italian-Canadian businessman was a fan of the singer and regularly used his music at presentations and events to connect Springsteen’s personality with that of the company.

“What you are really seeing today is 10 years of history,” Francois told CNBC. “We started discussing Bruce – about Bruce, not him, about – with my old boss Sergio. … He loved Bruce Springsteen’s music.”

Francois, Head of Marketing at Jeep’s parent company, Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler) convinced Detroit rapper Eminem and musician Bob Dylan to star in the company’s ads. He even landed Oprah Winfrey for a voice over once. Last year Francois convinced elusive actor Bill Murray to repeat his role in the 1993 film “Groundhog Day” for a Super Bowl ad.

He said his “greatest regret” was unable to do the Springsteen commercial while Marchionne was alive. “My biggest regret today is that they never made it to meet. I always promised him that I would make a difference and I delivered a little too late,” said Francois.

Why now?

Francois first cast Springsteen in a 2012 Super Bowl commercial called “It’s halftime in America” It featured actor Clint Eastwood, who is another celebrity not known for appearing in ads or for affiliation with any product or company. The ad featured Eastwood as the national coach and urged the US to learn from the resurgence of the Detroit auto industry.

Francois referred to this year’s ad as the “successor” to this commercial as well as others such as a 2013 Super Bowl commercial called “Farmer”. Both were cinematic, country-specific ads with few actual vehicles.

In this year’s “The Middle” advertisement, Springsteen drives around in an old jeep and talks about a chapel in the center of the country called US Center Chapel in Lebanon, Kansas. He used the extremely small chapel as a base to talk about the country that must “meet here in the middle” before the ad ended with “To the ReUnited States of America”. A website and logos for jeep, which will celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2021.

Bruce Springsteen (left) with Olivier Francois, Stellantis Chief Marketing Officer, while filming the company’s Super Bowl LV ad for Jeep.

Rob DeMartin for Jeep

In a press release, Landau said as soon as they saw the pitch they decided it was something they had to do.

“Olivier Francois and I have been talking about ideas for the past 10 years. When he showed us the design for ‘The Middle’, our immediate reaction was ‘Let’s do it’,” he said. “Our goal was to do something surprising, relevant, immediate and artful. I think that’s exactly what Bruce did with ‘The Middle’.”

Francois believes the message of the ad was in line with Springsteen’s beliefs and struck the “right balance” between the company’s goal and that of the singer, who told a commercial for a campaign last year Joe Biden.

According to Francois, Springsteen was closely involved in creating the Jeep ad and worked closely with director Thom Zimny. He wrote and produced the original score for the commercial with another of his frequent collaborators, Ron Aniello.

The ad almost didn’t happen

According to Francois, the commercial with Springsteen almost never happened. After being turned down by the singer’s manager for 10 years, he had decided not to give Landau an idea for Springsteen.

“I think it’s the first year I haven’t asked an agency to crack an idea from Bruce Springsteen,” he said. “I think it took me 10 years to understand that it never happened. Of course I was wrong, but I thought so. And it was also an abuse of John Landau and Bruce’s time.”

Bruce Springsteen starred in and narrated a two-minute Super Bowl ad for Jeep that featured far more Americana and scenery than any other vehicle.

Rob DeMartin for Jeep

Until the Southfield, Michigan-based advertising agency Doner came up with the idea of ​​”The Middle”. After Francois contacted Landau in early January to say a happy new year, he decided to send him the advertising agency’s pitch. Francois said that after receiving the parking space, Landau believed it was “the right message”.

“Yes, he takes a position, but he takes a position for the middle,” said Francois. “It’s not liberal. It’s not republican. It’s just something that tries to stand up for the apolitical. The community.”

The news seems to have resonated with viewers. Since it was posted on YouTube early Sunday morning, the ad has been viewed approximately 24 million times. That’s roughly four times the combined viewership of other automotive Super Bowl ads General Motors, Toyota Motor and online car sellers Vroom.

Bruce Springsteen stars in Tremendous Bowl 2021 advert for Jeep

Bruce Springsteen plays and narrates a two-minute Super Bowl commercial called “The Middle” for Jeep.

Screenshot

Bruce Springsteen encourages Americans to meet “in the middle” during a Super Bowl LV ad for Jeep – his very first appearance in a commercial.

The legendary musician, known as “The Boss”, plays the lead role and narrates the scenic two-minute commercial that contains far more Americana and scenery than jeeps. The only vehicles in the ad are a 1980 Jeep CJ-5 and a 1965 Willys Jeep CJ-5. Both models are predecessors of the brand current Wrangler SUV.

During “The Middle” Springsteen speaks about a chapel in the center of the country, the US Center Chapel in Lebanon, Kansas. He uses the extremely small chapel as a basis to talk about the country that needs to meet “here in the middle” before the ad ends with “To the ReUnited States of America”. This is followed by a website and logos for Jeep, which will celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2021.

“It’s no secret … The middle has been difficult to reach lately. Between red and blue. Between servants and citizens. Between our freedom and our fear,” says Springsteen. “Now fear was never the best of us. And as far as freedom is concerned, it is not only owned by the lucky few; it belongs to all of us.”

The ad is reminiscent of previous Super Bowl ads from Olivier Francois, chief marketing officer at Jeep’s parent company. Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler). Specifically, a 2013 Super Bowl commercial called “Farmer,” which featured the voice of legendary radio station Paul Harvey and another semi-political commercial starring Clint Eastwood “It’s halftime in America” in 2012. Both were scenic, country-specific ads with few actual vehicles.

“It is absolutely intended as a successor,” Francois told CNBC. “This is our style. This is our language. This is our approach to Super Bowl. We really tried to get a little bit of what we did in these other commercials. This is really relevant and meaningful and something that is really being developed. ” the moment.”

Topicality and relevance are the pillars of Francois’ advertising style. He’s also known for casting A-list celebrities who aren’t usually associated with advertising in offbeat commercials. Previous Super Bowl ads included Detroit rapper Eminem, musician Bob Dylan, and a voice-over from Oprah Winfrey. Last year Francois convinced elusive actor Bill Murray to repeat his role in the 1993 film “Groundhog Day” for a Super Bowl ad.

A company spokeswoman declined to say how much the ad cost, including the fee for Springsteen, who isn’t known for appearing in ads but cast his voice on a commercial for a campaign last year Joe Biden.

Fiat Chrysler CMO Olivier Francois (left) with actor Bill Murray while filming the 2020 Super Bowl commercial for the Jeep brand.

Fiat Chrysler

According to Francois, Springsteen was closely involved in creating the ad and worked closely with director Thom Zimny. He wrote and produced the original score for the commercial with another of his frequent collaborators, Ron Aniello.

“Olivier Francois and I have been talking about ideas for the past 10 years. When he showed us the design for ‘The Middle’, our immediate response was ‘Let’s do it’,” Springsteen manager Jon Landau said in a statement. “Our goal was to do something surprising, relevant, immediate and artful. I think that’s exactly what Bruce did with ‘The Middle’.”

The ad was created in collaboration with Michigan-based agency Doner. The spot was shot over five days in late January in Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska.