Jeep brought the largest duck in the world to the Detroit auto show this year, calling it a show of appreciation for a fun new tradition in the Jeep community. But what the duck are Jeep owners doing?
"Ducking a Jeep" is the act of placing a small rubber duck on a Jeep that you randomly see. The little rubber ducks can have drawings or other messages written on them, perhaps sharing admiration for someone's customization or accessories, the amount of mud they've accumulated, or just showing some love for the community. The reason doesn't matter, because ducking is meant to spread joy to other Jeep drivers and is a silly trend that has origins in Canada.
The trend started in the summer of 2020 when the creator thought that more smiles were desperately needed. The Official Ducking Jeep Facebook group describes its origins like this:
"Creator Allison Parliament founded Duck Duck Jeep in Ontario, Canada, after a crazy experience left her wanting to spread kindness because the world was on fire and not in a good way. She took a tiny rubber duck, left it on a Jeep, and got caught doing it. We’ve taken the kindness we’ve created and turned it into something amazing."
Parliament described her first ducking to Jeep: "I saw a really nice Jeep Wrangler in the parking lot, it was tricked out and lifted. So I grabbed a duck, wrote ‘Cool Jeep’ on it, and left it on the door." She snapped a photo and posted it on her Instagram with the hashtag #duckduckJeep.
The rules are simple. Any Jeep can be ducked, not just Wranglers. The whole purpose is to be kind and spread kindness. The private group exists to post photos of ducks given and ducks received and has more than 67,000 members and thousands of posts. There are also almost 200,000 posts on Instagram with the #duckduckJeep tag.
Some people take it far more seriously by matching the colour of the duck to the Jeep, handing out seasonal ducks, and working with others in the group to find new and fun ducks. Parliament says she's given out more than 6,000 ducks so far.
That's why Jeep brought a six-storey-tall duck, the world's largest, to the auto show this year. The 4,000-kg giant duck will be on display in Detroit for the whole run of the show and Jeep is giving out prizes for photos posted with the big duck. If you're planning on making it to the show this weekend, Jeep and local dairy Milk & Froth will be scooping out ice cream with fun flavours like Snazzberry, 4xe, and Mud Terrain. They're all Dessert Rated, of course.