Throughout history, part of people’s persona has been defined by their choice of transport. And nowhere is this more prevalent than in an individual’s choice of car. Whilst many vehicles are merely a means of getting from A to B, some brands engender passion. And Jeep is, quite literally, a legend in this sphere. Let’s go a step further… The Jeep brand, and its associated lifestyle and following, can be considered a “cult”. In fact, in 2018, at the annual The Gathering (Society of Cult Brands), Jeep was awarded the status of a “Cult Brand” Honoree – the first and only automotive brand to be recognized by the association. To give you some background, The Gathering (founded in 2013) is an exclusive summit which focuses on exposing the principles and practices employed by the world’s most successful brands. In South Africa the brand holds less market share than in the land of its birth (America), but the local Jeep public is just as passionate!
“Jeep Life” is a term used to encompass everything pertaining to a lifestyle enjoyed by those owning these vehicles. Jeep has even influenced the English language. Considered a ‘valid’ scrabble word, “Jeeping” is a verb which refers to the act of going “four wheeling” in any vehicle. A rough, two-spoor track is often referred to as a “Jeep Track” (noun), even when being traversed by other brands. From unlimited merchandise (encompassing their own clothing line and even strollers) and a special wave used to greet other owners (known as the “Jeep Wave), all the way through to MOPAR. This name is a mashup of two words – ‘motor’ and ‘parts’. Created by the Chrysler Corporation to launch its line of parts and accessories in 1937, it began with a single, paradigm-changing product – “MoPar antifreeze”.
Today, MOPAR is one of the automotive industry’s most recognized brands, which celebrated its 85th birthday this year. Beyond parts, accessories, and customer service, the brand is most associated with performance, from its long history with NASCAR to legendary dragsters and sponsorships that continue today. Camp Jeep is a regular event in different countries, where people get to spend a weekend together Jeeping and enjoying all things Jeep.
Jeep sneakers and #DuckDuckJeep ?.
Ultimately, Jeep is an authentic SUV brand that brings capability, craftsmanship and versatility to people who seek extraordinary journeys. People who are passionate and loyal, and who identify as part of this legendary brand. Since 1941, Jeep has delivered an open invitation to live life to the fullest.
Jeepers in “Paris” ?.
When one purchases a Jeep, you become part of a Lifestyle, you belong to the Jeep Tribe. Jeep is a love, representing the ability to get away from civilisation, a chance to get enjoyably dirty, the ability to drop the top and experience the open air, to drop the windshield and feel the wind on your face. Jeepers are passionate people who love freedom, adventure and fun!
Jumping for joy – ‘cos Jeep… Lots of swag!
Which leads us to the point of this story. Jeep International Go Topless Day…. In America, mid May is effectively the start of summer. Jeepers there have celebrated by keeping their shirts on (mostly!) and taking their tops off (the Jeep Wranglers). The world followed, and since 2008 Go Topless Day has been a Jeep thang….
Parisian music and French pastries.
South Africa followed suit, and this past weekend (Saturday 21st May) Topless Day was celebrated in style – with all models of Jeep vehicles. Complete with an icy cold front, high winds, dark gloomy skies and drizzle, the weather did NOT play along! That said, not a single Jeeper cancelled or failed to pitch up. Not even the weather dampens their spirits… 115 Jeeps and 275 people, all from the general public and four different Jeep dealerships, joined in the convoy and converged on Little Paris in Hartbeespoort. Everyone got a “Swag Bag” with branded goodies to commemorate the day, as well as a bunch of discount vouchers to various attractions in the area. Little love locks were provided to place on the bridge just as they used to do in Paris.
Little love locks.
I’m not sure there is another motoring public that squeezes every single moment of fun out of an occasion as well as the Jeep public – some were still in Harties on Sunday afternoon, having spent the evening and taken advantage of the vouchers on the Sunday morning. The group WhatsApp blew up with images of people enjoying themselves, including a Lego building endeavour (won at the event) which took place early Sunday morning.
A successful Lego session.
After two years of non-events, people are clearly ready to get out and celebrate life! It was heart-warming to see such enthusiasm and passion. So… here’s to living the good life in South Africa, making the best of what we have and thoroughly enjoying every moment!!
Jeep brings people together…
Jacqui Ikin & The Cross Country Team
#jeeplife #jeepgotoplessday #SouthAfricaWillTravelAgain #TourismStrong
An interesting read on “Cult Brands”:
If you’re a Jeeper (or know any), you can enjoy the event next year: