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Jeep turns city street into river

by David Zatz on

Jeep® suspended traffic on a Vancouver street, taking drivers by surprise by converting an entire block into a forest with a river, snowbanks, boulders, sand, gravel, moss, live fir trees, and even two wolves.

The elaborate setup was part of filming the “River in the City” commercial (debuting on January 4), which showed drivers recruited to test the Jeep Cherokee by following directions from its navigation system throughout downtown Vancouver. Following the detour, the directions soon led them to the “river in the city” and the drivers were a part of the real-life demonstration of the Cherokee’s capabilities.

Images of drivers confronting boulders amidst a raging river were set against parking meters and city buildings.

Olivier Francois, FCA Chief Marketing Officer, said, it was “… an experiential event … an untraditional approach to create a powerful statement that the Jeep Cherokee can handle anything a city throws at it.”

The shoot took place from June 14 to June 18, 2014. The set was built and produced three days prior to the filming of the commercial, on 400 Granville Street. Materials included:

  • 1,000,000 pounds of boulders, rocks and sand to break up water flow and give surface disturbance
  • 250,000 gallons of water, recycled using a closed water system that pumped water from the end of the street back to the top. The water was eventually discharged into Vancouver Harbor.
  • 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 trees were boxed and returned to the nursery and other materials were also repurposed.)
  • Two wolves were on set. (The domesticated wolves were made available from the Animal Insight for Film and TV. A representative from the American Humane Association was on set. Observers were able to take pictures with the animals.)

Three other Jeep Cherokee spots are currently on television, focusing on the front and rear park assist (also filmed in Vancouver), forward collision warning, and parallel and perpendicular park assist.

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