Few would disagree that this week has been a challenging one for many Americans. But today is Veterans Day, and Jeep is celebrating the occasion (and its own 75th anniversary) with an inspiring ad dedicated to the men and women who served by way of the very first vehicle to be considered for a Purple Heart to honor its service in WWII.
The spot, which aired on Jeep's social media channels this morning, pays tribute to "Old Faithful," a WWII-era vehicle that was retired and awarded a Purple Heart designation after leading the United States Marine Corps through two beach landings and a shelling by the Japanese military during the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1943.
Austin's GSD&M was the creative agency behind the ad.
The Purple Heart honor was largely symbolic as only veterans themselves can receive medals, but "Old Faithful" went on tours and appeared in exhibitions following the end of the war.
From a July 1944 edition of The Marine Corps Chevron: "The jeep was retired ... after having traveled more than 11,000 miles of jungle terrain as a command car. During its 18 months' service 'Old Faithful' served four Marine generals as well as carrying every ranking Marine officer and visiting official on the two battle-torn islands."
The original vehicle was supposed to be displayed indefinitely in the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, Va.; unfortunately, it has been lost to history.
Jeep's parent company FIAT Chrysler added GSD&M to its roster in May after a creative review for the Dodge brand. FIAT often allows its agency partners to pitch project-based work, and GSD&M created this campaign to coincide with both Veterans Day and the company's 75th anniversary.