The Authenticity Behind Jeep Brand’s “Groundhog Day”

 

“Groundhog Day” (February 2, 2020) falls on Super Bowl Sunday for the second time in 54 years.

The Jeep brand’s “Groundhog Day” commercial also brings back key characters from the film including Bill Murray (Phil Connors), Brian Doyle Murray (Buster Green) and Stephen Tobolowsky (Ned Ryerson) to reprise their original film roles.

The Jeep brand’s 2020 “Groundhog Day” commercial production took place in Woodstock, IL, where the original movie was filmed 27 years earlier in 1993.

The town is very proud of their history – many of the stores and the town square featured “Groundhog Day” themed banners, decor and there are walking tours about the film. The town still airs the movie in the local theater.

Locations included the following:

  • The original Bed & Breakfast – where Bill Murray’s character Phil Connors wakes up every morning.
  • The Town Square where the Groundhog Day festival takes place in the original movie.
  • The restaurant in Woodstock where the filmed the original bar scene where Bill Murray and Andi MacDowell’s characters toast to world peace.

Instead using the original truck from the 1993 film as his “get-away car”, in the 2020 commercial, Phil Connors takes the 2020 Jeep Gladiator truck.

In the movie, each day begins with Bill Murray’s character waking up to an alarm clock radio with “I’ve Got You Babe” by Sonny & Cher. The song was licensed through Sony Music for the Jeep brand commercial to recreate the 6:00AM wake-up scene in the film.

In the 1993 film, after the song “I’ve Got You Babe,” two radio DJ’s come on the radio and talk about Groundhog Day. The Jeep brand’s commercial brings back one of those radio personalities to record the 2020 version in which they DJ’s say “Today is Groundhog Day… and also a big day for football.”

In the Jeep brand’s commercial, Bill Murray shows off his music chops by singing lyrics iconic “I’ve Got You Babe.”

Bill Murray and Brian Doyle Murray requested to stay at the same Holiday Inn where they stayed when they filmed the original movie.

The Jeep brand “Groundhog Day” production had a crew member on the original set – the first Assistant Director on the commercial was the second AD on the original “Groundhog Day” film.

Brian Doyle Murray shaved for the first time in 25+ years for his appearance in the commercial