You wrote: "The idea that an artist like Springsteen can expect anyone to listen to a record album from start to finish is laughable."
Start laughing. I have listened to "Letter to You" from start to finish at 20 times since buying it.
Certainly Bruce understands the importance of keeping his brand relevant; after all, he made the cover of AARP magazine in the summer of 2020 to talk about "Letter to You" prior to its release.
But I think he did the Jeep commercial because the message of the commercial resonated with his values. It was a win-win for Bruce and Jeep, and it gave voice to an important perspective in these contentious times of red vs. blue.