Is This an Ad for Halsey or an Ad for Jeep?

'I Am Halsey, Renegade,' the Singer-Songwriter Declares

Published On
Oct 06, 2017

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In a new TV spot, singer-songwriter Halsey tells us that "I've chosen to be loud, to be unique, to be authentic, and unapologetically me. I'm good at it because I'm unafraid. Every time someone wants me to be quiet, I speak louder. I am Halsey, renegade." As she's saying all this, she's animated -- literally. Her physical form is silhouetted against a stark white background, and her body is made semi-transparent, so that we can see moving images -- of roads and vehicles and headlights and streetscapes -- projected on her, or within her. She then sings a bit and we see a typographic tagline, "Release your renegade," projected on top of her.

And then we see the Jeep logo.

Oh! This is a Jeep ad! All those vehicles riding around inside of Halsey were Jeeps, weren't they? And Jeep makes a vehicle called the Renegade. Get it?!

If this 30-second TV ad almost seems like Jeep signed a deal to endorse Halsey, rather than vice versa, it helps to watch a 60-second web version of the campaign in which Halsey talks about her very first set of wheels, a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The vehicle, she says, was a private space where she could write songs away from her parents' disapproving eyes and ears. The story feels heartfelt, relatable and, yes, authentic in a way that the TV ad isn't -- which is ironic because the TV ad makes a point of not talking about the product (Jeep), making it seem like the product being sold is something else (Halsey).

Anyway, we should probably be glad that Halsey didn't sign a deal with Honda ("I am Halsey, Civic") or Mercedes-Benz ("I am Halsey, C-Class").