It’s 2020. We have refrigerators that can text, televisions that can answer the phone, and phones that can …well, do everything else. Why shouldn’t we have a Hummer – the car once associated with excess and environmental destruction – be electric? When introducing such a revolutionary concept, why not involve an equally revolutionary figure as LeBron James? “1,000 horsepower will sound like this. 11,500 pound-feet of torque will sound like this. 0 to 60 in 3 seconds will sound like this. Pure dominance will sound like this,” reads GMC’s nearly-silent Super Bowl LIV commercial for their brand new Hummer EV.
In the last shot, LeBron shatters the glass of the basketball backboard, landing on his feet amid shards, evidence of his own success. As Hummer boasts how a “quiet revolution is coming,” LeBron’s voice is heard. “All electric. Zero emissions. Zero limits. Hummer EV from GMC.” Well, that’s one way to make a statement.
The 30-second sport is the first time that GM has advertised in the Super Bowl since 2017, according to AdAge, who notes that Hummer will be sold “under the GMC nameplate. [General Motors] acquired the Hummer brand in 1998, but stopped sales in 2010.” Ten years later, the Hummer is back, but in electric form. “GMC builds premium and capable trucks and SUVs, and the GMC Hummer EV takes this to new heights,” said Duncan Aldred, global VP of Buick and GMC, in a statement, per AdWeek. “We are excited to debut our revolutionary zero-emissions truck during the biggest night in TV advertising.”
The full ad was meant to be released ahead of the big game, but the death of Kobe Bryant forced GM to hold it out of respect. LeBron was close to Kobe, and the death of the 41-year-old left LeBron “heartbroken” and devastated. “Ever time I try [to write my feelings], I begin crying again just thinking about … the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had,” LeBron wrote in his first statement after Kobe’s death. “I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to LA. Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have.”
“I promise to continue your legacy,” LeBron wrote. In his first Lakers game since Kobe’s passing, LeBron broke down in tears. Ahead of the Jan. 31 game against the Portland Trail Blazer, LeBron spoke, saying that the night was a celebration of Kobe’s 20-year career, of “the blood, the sweat, the tears, the broken down body and the countless hours… and determination to be as great as he could be. Tonight we celebrate the kid who came here at 18 years of age, retired at 38, and became probably the best dad we’ve seen over the last three years. … In the words of us, ‘not forgotten.’ Live on, brother.”