General Motors’ Super Bowl ad for the resurrection of the gas-guzzling Hummer SUV as an all-electric pickup under the GMC brand features NBA star LeBron James quietly shattering a glass backboard.
The 30-second ad, which the company released Sunday morning, teases the quiet power of the all-electric truck for gearheads accustomed to the loud, brash roar of a traditional gas-powered engine. Glass silently explodes over James’ head while the words “PURE DOMINANCE … WILL SOUND LIKE THIS” slowly pulse in all caps across the screen.
“A QUIET REVOLUTION IS COMING,” appears right before James narrates: “all electric, zero emissions, zero limits. Hummer EV from GMC.”
GM is branding the Hummer EV, which will be unveiled May 20 and available for sale next year, as a “quiet revolution.” It’s a play on the quietness of all-electric vehicles and the performance of the Hummer EV.
James called the partnership a “natural fit:” “Everyone knows about my love for Hummer since high school and I’m proud to be a part of announcing the new EV model,” he said in a press release. “The truck may be quiet, but the performance numbers speak for themselves.”
In high school, James was investigated by Ohio athletics officials for receiving a Hummer H2 vehicle as a gift. After a two-week investigation, it was determined he did not violate amateur bylaws by accepting the vehicle that his mother had purchased for his 18th birthday.
The ad, like the teaser videos GM released earlier this week, previews the front end of the pickup, however doesn’t show the full Hummer EV. The vehicle is expected to be unveiled on May 20.
The ad is the beginning of a marketing campaign that will feature James as a spokesman, according to Phil Brook, GMC vice president of marketing.
“We just think he’s a great fit. You talk about game changers, revolutionaries. he’s really changed things,” Brook told CNBC. “He’s done that in basketball, he’s a great businessperson, he does a huge amount of work in the community as well, so he’s someone we have the greatest respect for. He’s also incredibly influential.”
The Hummer EV pickup, according to GM, will feature 1,000 horsepower; 0 to 60 mph acceleration in 3 seconds; and 11,500 pound feet of torque. It didn’t announce a price.
The vehicle is expected to go into production in the fall of 2021 at a plant in Detroit, followed by sales starting toward the end of the year.
The TV spot is scheduled to air during the second quarter of the big game Sunday in the U.S. and during the fourth quarter in Canada.