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.

Trending News

Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Volkswagen has teamed with its dealerships to offer vehicles for training.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen donated 12 Atlas SUVs to technical and trade schools across the U.S. The donations are the result of a partnership with local dealers as an element of the company's Drive Bigger initiative.

"These vehicles will be essential in assisting the next generation of Volkswagen technicians to interact with and learn the latest technology that is part of our exciting model lineup" said John Peterson, Director of Fixed Operations." At Volkswagen we strongly believe in investing in the next generation and with our growing model lineup, it's critical we give these young technicians the opportunity to be hands on with our vehicles to help ensure we continue to deliver a high level of customer satisfaction in the future."

New vehicles are a key component to training tomorrow's technicians, especially with rapidly evolving powertrain options and new, more versatile platforms being used by more extensively by automakers across the world.

The donations will allow students to train on Volkswagen vehicles utilizing the VW ODIS software used to diagnose and perform updates. The selected schools will collaborate with local dealerships to provide supplemental assistance and instruction on the donated equipment.

The Northeast Region is the first group of schools to be part of the program. The schools receiving the vehicles and instruction include:

  • Automotive Training Center (Warminster, PA)
  • Cincinnati State Technical and Community College (Cincinnati, OH)
  • Hudson Valley Community College (Troy, NY)
  • Lincoln Technical Institute (Mahwah, NJ)
  • MassBay Community College Automotive Technology Center (Ashland, MA)
  • Medina County Career Center (Medina, OH)
  • Saline High School (Saline, MI)
  • Suffolk County Community College (Centereach, NY)
  • SUNY Canton Automotive Technology (Canton, NY)
In total, 34 dealerships will assist with the program in the northeast.

Volkswagen isn't the only company helping to assist with the eduction of the next generation of technicians. Volvo announced earlier this year that they will be working with dealerships to provide tens of thousands of dollars worth of tools for beginner technicians as well as student loan relief.

Trending News

 
 

The Renegade Motel is the kickoff of a campaign to celebrate the new Jeep Renegade 4xe.

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles UK Ltd

Jeep is opening an extreme motel, for two nights only. The Renegade Motel is suspended 250 feet above the ground on one of the yellow pylons of The O2 in London.

The accommodations are the world's first urban cliff camping destination. It was opened to celebrate the arrival of the Jeep Renegade 4xe plug-in hybrid to the U.K. market.

From the Renegade Motel's location, you can watch the sun set and rise over London's Canary Wharf.

Jeep Renegade Motel The motel's location allows for views of the sunrise and sunset over London's Canary Wharf.Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles UK Ltd

The full experience includes dinner, bed and breakfast, and a 24-hour concierge. The accommodations come equipped with a number of features inspired by the new Renegade PHEV including a wi-fi hotspot, Amazon Alexa connectivity, and a portable power supply. Sleeping bags are provided.

Guests will be able to travel to the Motel by driving a new Jeep Renegade 4xe, which will be delivered right to their doorstep. On arrival, Motel guests will get a sneak peak of where they'll sleep that night while they enjoy The O2's roofwalk experience, Up at The O2. They will then dine in The O2 before heading up to their Renegade Motel 'room'.

The Renegade Motel opened for bookings today with adventure seekers able to apply to stay for free for one night on September 18 or 19. Guests can register to stay through The O2 here.

Jeep Renegade Motel The Renegade Motel is an extreme take on cliffside camping.Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles UK Ltd

Following the Renegade Motel's stint at The O2, Jeep will introduce Renegade 'Roof Top' Motels in a select number of UK city locations. At these locations, guests will be taking their accommodations with them, during the Renegade 4xe to a destination where they will make use of the TentBox pop-up tent that sits on the roof of the specially equipped model.

The Renegade 4xe is on sale across Europe now. In the U.K. it starts at £32,600 OTR. The U.S. isn't slated to get the Renegade 4xe yet. The Wrangler 4xe will be coming to the market, however.

Trending News