Super Bowl commercials have long been an important part of watching “the big game.” Even for those who are not football fans, it can still be enjoyable to tune in to the Super Bowl just to catch the year’s newest commercials.
According to Adweek, film makers Joel and Ethan Coen, better known as the Coen Brothers, have directed a commercial for Mercedes-Benz.
— Adweek (@Adweek) January 27, 2017
The Coen Brother’s commercial pays homage to the 1969 filmEasy Rider, a movie that starred Peter Fonda and the late Dennis Hopper. Easy Rider also featured an appearance by Jack Nicholson.
The storyline is set during the “hippie movement” and features two bikers, Wyatt (Fonda) and Billy (Hopper), traveling from Southern California to the Deep South on their motorcycles. Nicholson’s character, a lawyer, appears later on in the movie.
Easy Rider is also remembered for its soundtrack, which featured songs such as “The Weight” by Levon Helm and The Band and “Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf. The latter song can be heard in the Coen Brothers’ commercial, when a man, wearing a tie-dye shirt, plays it on a jukebox.
The commercial, which has been dubbed “Easy Driver,” is set in what obviously appears to be a biker bar. A poster of Easy Rider, featuring Peter Fonda, can be seen hanging on the wall as well. Nearby is a gas tank painted with the American Flag, like the one Fonda had on his motorcycle in Easy Rider.
Halfway into the commercial, during a brawl, the bikers, some of whom even appear to have Easy Rider-inspired tattoos, discover that their motorcycles have been “blocked in” by a Mercedes-AMG GT roadster. The sight of the brand-new Mercedes leaves them in awe.
At the end, Peter Fonda himself, now 76-years-old, appears and drives away in the Mercedes. The screen fades to black and “Born To Be Wild” is replaced by “Built To Be Wild.” In the Adweek article, Drew Slaven, vice president for Mercedes-Benz USA, explained the significance of casting Fonda in the commercial.
“Peter Fonda plays a critical piece of the storyline, and he’s known as someone who still epitomizes what it is to love driving performance and the open road.”
Slaven also explains that Mercedes believed that “a nice parallel” existed between the movie Easy Rider and Mercedes-AMG. Easy Rider is a 48-year-old movie, and Mercedes-AMG was founded just two years before the movie’s release, so Slaven implies that it was a good way to celebrate AMG’s 50th anniversary. Mercedes-Benz describes AMG as “the high-performance division” of the company.
Slaven also said that while “performance drivers” are familiar with Mercedes-AMG, airing a Super Bowl commercial is the “best way” imaginable to bring it to a “broader community.” According to the New York Post, it has been reported that Fonda is a fan of Mercedes in real life, too.
Per Adweek, the commercial is the first by the Coen Brothers in 15 years, with their last one being an ad for H&R Block during Super Bowl 36. Adweek also reports that the Coen Brothers did an ad for Honda in the distant past as well.
— Autoblog (@therealautoblog) January 27, 2017
The Coen Brothers are known for movies including, but certainly not limited to, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, No Country For Old Men, and True Grit. The Inquisitr recently reported that they are working on their first-ever television series as well, which will be a six-episode western called The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs.
According to Adweek, while the commercial will air during Super Bowl 51, viewers will have to wait until the fourth quarter to see it. Moreover, it will only be a 30-second version of the commercial, as opposed to the extended, 60-second rendition.
Super Bowl 51 will take place Sunday, February 5 at 6:30 p.m. The New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons will face off against one and other, and the halftime show will feature a performance by pop-star Lady Gaga.
What do you think of the Coen Brothers’ commercial for Super Bowl 51?
[Featured Image by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]