In the 1990s Chrysler Corporation ran a prolonged branding campaign for its four-wheel-drive Jeeps. Although Jeep was one of the oldest and best-known sport utility brands in the United States, it had encountered intense competition as the popularity of four-wheel-drive automobiles (dubbed ' 'sport utility vehicles,'' or SUVs) exploded among American consumers. In order to bolster the Jeep brand, Chrysler directed the advertising agency Bozell Worldwide, Inc. to create a television advertising campaign for Jeep's product line: the Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Cherokee, and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Three of the ads, ' 'Snow Covered,'' ' 'El Toro,'' and ' 'Quicksand,'' were designed not only to elevate sales but also to distinguish Jeep from the 40-odd other models of SUVs that were flooding the market and vying for consumers' new car dollars.
To reach its upscale target market, Jeep chose to run its ads primarily during highly rated, prime-time network television shows and special events. ' 'Snow Covered,'' ' 'El Toro,'' and ' 'Quicksand'' each used a combination of humor and fantasy to catch viewers' attention, and each was an element of what Bozell's managing partner and creative director Bill Morden termed ' 'the consistent, constant visual of building the brand.'' ' 'Snow Covered,'' a 60-second spot that first aired during the 1994 Winter Olympics, had, according to USA Today, ' 'one of the longest runs of any TV ad produced by a car company.'' The commercial featured a Jeep burrowing under a deep blanket of snow as an arresting way of conveying the power and tenacity of the vehicle. Interestingly, the ad did not picture an actual Jeep model. The 30-second ' 'Quicksand,'' which debuted in September 1995, showed a Jeep Grand Cherokee trapped in a tropical landscape by a massive water buffalo that refuses to move out of the way.