The message from the Boss certainly got our attention.  Bruce Springsteen has appeared in his first-ever commercial during the Super Bowl. It wasn’t about his music and he doesn’t sing a note, but Springsteen uses the commercial as a call for unity,  similar to the one President Joe Biden has been making. Variety describes it as “a mammoth Jeep ad meant to reflect a national mood of coming together after four years of politics and polarization.”

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.”

While the message resonated with a lot of people, it sparked criticism from those who said the ad was out of touch with the current mood. Washington Post music critic Chris Richards wrote:

Despite the healing sound of his voice, Springsteen is ultimately preaching reconciliation without reckoning — which after January’s Capitol siege is no longer an acceptable path toward progress. Plus, this is Bruce Springsteen. Isn’t he the guy who’s supposed to know everything about hard work? Suggesting that we should all swiftly and metaphorically travel to the nucleus of White, rural America to make up and move along feels insulting and wrong.

The chief marketing officer for Fiat Chrysler (owners of Jeep), Olivier Francois is quoted as saying this about the ad’s message, “There’s a divide and Bruce wants to do one thing, speak to the common ground. It doesn’t take a stand, left or right, blue or red, the only stand it takes is the middle.” 

Jeep reportedly pursued Springsteen for decades before he finally agreed to film the ad.

Watch the ad above.