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Bruce Springsteen’s Manager Jon Landau on The Boss’s Involvement in ‘Every Shot’ of His Jeep Super Bowl Ad: Exclusive

“The Middle” features sweeping footage of great expanses of America’s heartland, as Springsteen voices a narrative about a chapel in Lebanon, Kansas — “standing on the exact center of the lower 48. It never closes, all are more than welcome” — before going into broader themes about how divided we have become. “It’s no secret, the middle has been a hard place to get to lately, between red and blue… between our freedom and our fear,” he continues. He ends delivering hope that we can find a way back to each other as neighbors, friends and Americans.

Springsteen appears in the ad, driving a Jeep through snow-lined streets, as the commercial’s elegiac score, composed by Springsteen and Ron Aniello, unspools.

Landau took Billboard behind the scenes on Sunday on how the commercial came about and what it means for future brands wanting to work with the superstar.

You and Olivier have been discussing ideas for years. What had those discussions been like?

I thought the [2012] Clint Eastwood/[Chrysler] commercial called “It’s Half Time, America” was the best commercial I had ever seen. Olivier Francois and I had met around then and stayed in touch over the years. Every December, he would send me some very good ideas for Bruce that we automatically turned down. This time he sent us the outline and rough for “The Middle,” and Bruce and I had the identical reaction: “Let’s do it.”


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