Jeep Gladiator Triumphs Over ‘Crusher’ in Super Bowl LIII TV Spot

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New Gladiator Rubicon is reborn in moody Super Bowl ad that provides another peek at the hotly-anticipated Jeep.

Icons are immortal. They never truly die. Even when they no longer physically exist, they live on in memory and legend. That’s true especially true for the Jeep Gladiator, for instance. It didn’t die. It was just resting for the past 30 years. As shown in Jeep’s new Super Bowl LIII commercial titled “Crusher,” nothing can stop the Gladiator — not even a car crusher.

The Super Bowl spot opens at a scrap yard. The jaws of a rusty car compactor that’s reduced thousands of vehicles to rectangular slabs of bent metal, busted glass, and mashed rubber fully open to devour their next victim. A heavy duty forklift wheels over to the soulless executioner carrying a vintage silver Gladiator on its tines. The Jeep definitely has a patina to it, but it looks as if there might be a running vehicle under all of that flat paint and dull chrome.

jk-forum.com Jeep Gladiator Rubicon Super Bowl Commercial

The compactor doesn’t care. As soon as the Gladiator is in position, the crusher immediately starts its slow, deadly squeeze. The camera captures every cringe-inducing bit of destruction from multiple angles. The top of the cab is the first part to buckle. Broken glass explodes out of the driver’s side window. One of the front tires sags with the weight of the force attempting to change it from round to flat.

jk-forum.com Jeep Gladiator Rubicon Super Bowl Commercial

Just when it seems the crusher is about deliver the coup de grâce to the Gladiator, one of its headlamps lights up. It starts to fight back, causing sparks to fly from the machine holding it in its deadly grip. The Gladiator continues rising as the compactor goes more and more haywire. A flash of fender flare makes it clear what will emerge from this brutal struggle.

jk-forum.com Jeep Gladiator Rubicon Super Bowl Commercial

The defeated crusher opens its once lethal mandibles to reveal a shiny new Gladiator Rubicon in all its reborn glory. The spot closes on one of its headlights and makes a simple announcement: “Gladiator is back.” We have an announcement to make, too: “We’re ready for it.”

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management from Texas State University, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism from Austin Community College as well. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK-Forum.com and Ford-Trucks.com, Derek also contributes to other outlets. He started There Will Be Cars on Instagram and Facebook to get even more automotive content out to fellow enthusiasts.

Derek can be contacted at [email protected]

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