they do it, and why? We're talking about the photo-op of
the day at the North American International Auto Show--the
smashing Jeep ® Wrangler reveal. For those of you who
haven't yet seen it or weren't there, here's what happened.
After Chrysler President and CEO Tom LaSorda was driven on
stage to introduce the Wrangler, he stopped long enough to
chat briefly with Eric Ridenour, Chrysler Group Chief Operating
to Entire PodCast (MP3 - 16MB)
asked Ridenour if the reveal should go the way they did it
in rehearsal, and so it did. The Wrangler containing LaSorda
zoomed off the stage, across the hall, eventually smashing
through the front glass of Cobo's entrance, coming to rest
on a specially-built mountaintop across the street.
The creative geniuses behind the most talked about reveal,
come from the Birmingham, Michigan agency Clear!Blue.
TheFirehouse.biz got the inside story of the Wrangler reveal
straight from the folks who dreamed up the stunt: Larry Parrott,
chief creative officer, Linda Nahas, executive producer, and
Lisa Pigott, DaimlerChrysler account supervisor. Here are some
excerpts from that conversation. You can hear the entire interview
by clicking on the podcast using the button at the end of this
do it this way..how'd you pull it off: Larry: Wrangler is
the icon of the Jeep brand and we wanted to come up with
a big, exciting, memorable way of introducing the latest
iteration of the Wrangler to the international journalists.
At the same time and we wanted to demonstrate Jeep's do-anything,
go-anywhere attitude. We wanted to capture everyone's imagination.
So what we wanted to do is something that hadn't been done
before, so we decided rather than reveal a vehicle, we were
going to let a vehicle break free from Cobo Hall and crash
through the glass, drive across the street and up a mountain.
Chrysler loved it from the outset.
Linda: (Cobo Hall attitude) They were actually excited that
we were going to do something like this again and had the backing
of the DADA (Detroit Auto Dealers Association)
Larry: In the early 90's when we were children, the first modern
iteration of the Jeep Grand Cherokee was introduced and this
was before the days of big, exciting press events, and a guy
named Bill Abele came up with the idea of crashing in through
the glass of Cobo Hall to introduce the fact this vehicle was
breaking into new markets.
Logistics of Wrangler Reveal:
Linda: We met with Cobo head of engineering, took our own technical
director in with us. We measured out doorways, glass, got in
touch with the glass supplier, Christy Glass, who puts the
glass into Cobo, and they're contracted to work there. They
worked with us to remove the glass so we could put in special
glass. We've got special effects, pyrotechnics, best in the
United States, worked with us on this job.
We just talk it through with all the experts, making sure we're
doing everything we need to do, then we go back and we check
it safety-wise. Is the fire marshall good, is Cobo Hall good,
is the city of Detroit good? Can we do it? Yes we can.
How does it work?
Linda: It is tempered glass that has charges in it, and a remote
control will set off the charges which actually explodes the
glass before you go through it. It's just split-second timing,
that right when the vehicle is just about to hit the glass,
you throw the charge, the Jeep keeps going but it didn't really
pound into it.
Linda: Number one, we need a Jeep with a hard top, so we don't
hurt anybody. Security, all around the perimeter so that no
people can cross right through when the charge goes off and
safety glasses for anybody that is nearby.
Most challenging part/roadblocks:
Linda: There's a lot going on in the Cobo lobby that you're
not thinking about when we first sat down and met with them.
We mapped out, OK, this is what we're going to do, then you
find out they're putting the ice cream stand and putting in
the coat check. It' not so challenging as much as it's just
a lot of work and you have to touch back with a lot of vendors
and people just to make sure you're not gonna crash through
the coat racks. It's just being precise.
Larry: The kind of glass is important. Tempered glass breaks
into little pebbles, it doesn't break into sharp edges and
when these explosive squibs fire they fire into the bottom
of the panes of the glass. So when we say "explode," it fires
bolts and essentially the glass panel collapses on itself,
so it doesn't explode.
The same way they do it in a movie?
Continued... Listen for complete interview