Hollywood

Meet Poppy, the groundhog rescue that starred in Jeep's Super Bowl ad

Photo courtesy of FCA USA LLC

Poppy shot to fame starring in this year's Super Bowl commercial for the Jeep Gladiator with "Groundhog Day" actor Bill Murray as her sidekick. The 10-month old groundhog is more than just a celebrity starring in a commercial during the big game.

When a birth defect prevented her from living a full life in the wild, Poppy was rescued after being found end of a residence's driveway. She lives with a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in Pennsylvania, which is also the home of Punxsutawney Phil and the setting (though not the filming location) for the cult classic movie "Groundhog Day".

Poppy groundhog Jeep Gladiator Groundhog Day commercial 2020 The commercial co-stars veteran actor Bill Murray.Photo courtesy of FCA USA LLC

The goal of wildlife rehabilitation is to return animals to the wild. However, as Poppy grew, it was determined by a team of veterinarians that Poppy suffers from a birth defect called Malocclusion. This defect prevents her from receiving sustinence via foraging in the manner of the typical groundhog because she cannot use her sharp incisors to eat or cut wood to build a den.

With that diagnosis, Poppy's care team had to decide between three different options: 1) euthanize her, 2) humanely extract her teeth or 3) submit her to continual painful dental procedures throughout her life, which was not in her best interest from a humane standpoint.

Because Poppy was otherwise strong and capable, the care team decided to humanely extract her teeth and use her as an educational ambassador for wildlife in the state.

The scenes of the commercial involving the groundhog were filmed using a real groundhog, stuffed animal groundhog, and an animatronic groundhog. Some CGI techniques were used in post-production.

Poppy groundhog Jeep Gladiator Groundhog Day commercial 2020 Poppy split starring duties with stuffed and animatronic groundhogs. Photo courtesy of FCA USA LLC

While filming the Jeep commercial, Poppy was under the constant care, supervision, and oversight of her handler/caretaker. Between takes she didn't go to her trailer and talk to her agent. Instead she ate banana chips and nestled on her caretaker's shoulders.

When Poppy isn't starring in commercials, she works as a state- and USDA-licensed educational animal.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 has been added to the four-wheel drive family.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

It's perfectly balanced. The 470-horsepower, 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 also has 470 pound-feet of torque. That's a lot, but really the whole rig is a bit extra. Some might say it screams, "please don't buy a Bronco."

With typical Wrangler Rubicon looks on the outside, the Rubicon 392's big selling point is its engine. The 6.4-liter V8 can get from zero to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds and is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Jeep is equipping the Rubicon 392 with a 21.5-gallon fuel tank to help with the thirsty engine's range. To save on fuel, the Rubicon 392 uses cylinder deactivation to switch into four-cylinder mode when the V8 isn't needed.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 The SUV features a standard 2.0-inch lift.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The noise out back is courtesy of a two-mode performance exhaust. A functional air scoop feeds the engine and keeps it cool.

All that power requires a stronger frame than the typical Wrangler has. It gets upgraded frame rails, improved cast-iron steering knuckles, and beefier front upper control arms. Stopping power comes from the SUV's larger-than-usual brakes - the Rubicon 392 has 14-inch rotors instead of the Rubicon's typical 13.4-inchers. A 2.0-inch lift is standard.

Jeep has given the model an Off-Road Plus button that lets you lock the rear of the Wrangler Rubicon 392 while it's in four-wheel drive high gear. This functionality will prove especially helpful to desert trekking enthusiasts who get slippery sand under the tires but have to keep up their forward motion so they don't sink and get stuck.

It's also Moab-ready. The Wrangler Rubicon 392 doesn't have the Rock-Trac transfer case that's in the typical Rubicon, but it makes up for it with the availability of low-end torque courtesy of the new V8. Add in the standard Select-Trac transfer case, locking rear differentials, and front sway bar disconnect and adventuring on rocks just became more manageable.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 is competent on rocks and sand.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The entire rig rides on 33-inch BF Goodrich KO2 tires that sit at all four corners one 17-inch beadlock-capable tires.

Jeep's revisions to the Wrangler for this model have given it better approach and departure angles than the standard Rubicon. It can also ford 32.5 inches of water thanks to its new Hydro-Guide air intake system.

On the inside and outside of the Rubicon 392, there are bronze-colored accents. Inside, it's bronze stitching on leather-appointed surfaces. The seats get performance-inspired, integrated upper bolsters. The SUV's gauge cluster has gotten a new numbering design while a leather-wrapped performance steering wheel (a first in the Wrangler) is home to wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

At the center of the dashboard is an n8.4-inch infotainment screen that allows Jeep Off-Road Pages to be viewed. Those pages display pitch, roll, altitude, GPS coordinates, drivetrain power distribution and more.

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 is available in nine exterior colors: Black, Bright White, Firecracker Red, Granite Crystal Metallic, Punk 'n Metallic, Sarge Green Metallic, Snazzberry Metallic, Sting-Gray Metallic and Billet Silver Metallic, all with a black interior.

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 includes 11 features that are normally options on Wrangler:

  • Leather interior
  • Infotainment Group
  • HD electrical switch bank
  • Body-color hard top
  • Body-color flares
  • Steel Bumper Group
  • LED Lighting Group
  • Cold Weather Group
  • Remote proximity entry
  • Safety Group
  • Advanced Safety Group

Mopar is standing ready to offer factory-backed parts and accessories for the new model. Customers can shop from the portfolio of Jeep Performance Parts including LED off-road lights, Rubicon winch, Ultimate Dana 44 Advantek front axle with gear ratios available up to 5.38, new off-road beadlock-capable wheels suitable for larger tires, tube doors, off-road bumpers, and rock rails.

Pricing for the model has not yet been announced. The 2021 Wrangler Rubicon starts at $42,195. Expect the Wrangler Rubicon 392 to be higher than that price tag. It is set to arrive in showrooms in January 2021.

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A new commercial starring Brie Larson and the 2021 Nissan Rogue launches this month.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America
Nissan’s new “Rogue Gone Rogue” advertising campaign has a very familiar face as its star. The star of the show, in addition to the 2021 Rogue, is actress Brie Larson, who has just inked a multi-year deal to become the face of the brand.

In March it was announced that Larson would star in a new campaign for the redesigned 2020 Nissan Sentra. But, a lot has happened since then (you may have noticed). That campaign included the “Refuse to Compromise” ad starring Larson. The concept of the spot was moment in time that captures a young professional woman who is about to compromise on her career plans.

20 A March ad featured Academy Award-winning actress Brie Larson paired with the 2020 Nissan Sentra. Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The new deal moves Larson to a brand ambassador role with Nissan allowing her to take an active role in select creative campaigns, support new model launches, and participate in employee and dealer events. Larson will also support the Nissan Foundation using her platform to bring visibility to the educational programming its grantees introduce in respective cities.

“I am thrilled to be expanding my role as Nissan's brand ambassador and collaborating on their philanthropic endeavors," said Brie Larson. "Finding a brand with mission-aligned values and an authentic connection to its workforce and customers is very important to me. Everything I've learned about Nissan supports those relationships at its core. I look forward to continuing our partnership both on- and off-camera."

"Brie embodies the Nissan spirit in her desire to challenge the status quo off-screen and her ability to bring thrill and excitement to on-screen roles," said Allyson Witherspoon, vice president and chief marketing officer, Nissan U.S. "When we previously worked with Brie on the Sentra campaign, she brought a unique point of view to the creative during the production process, advocating for diversity and inclusivity, which aligns with her interest in supporting the work of the Nissan Foundation."

The 360-degree “Rogue Gone Rogue” campaign kicks off November 9 with TV and online integrations, as well as strategic partnerships with Amazon and Atlas Obscura. The campaign’s “What Should We Do Today” TV spot features an adventure-seeking family that travels across numerous environments showing off the Rogue’s capabilities. Ultimately, they end up at the movies where Larson makes her cameo appearance, pulling up alongside them in her own 2021 Rogue.

The multi-tier Rogue campaign will also feature YouTube and Amazon takeovers alongside TV integrations on Univision, Discovery, and NBC. It includes TV, online video, print, radio, digital and social placements around family-focused content.

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