Bob Dylan's Chrysler Super Bowl Ad Highlights Night of Memorable Commercials

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2014

FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2012 file photo, Bob Dylan performs in Los Angeles. The electric guitar that Bob Dylan plugged in at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 may be the most historic instrument in rock music, and it has sat mostly unnoticed in a New Jersey attic for most of the 47 years since. Dylan left it behind in an airplane and it was taken home by the pilot. The late pilot's daughter recently took it to PBS'
Chris Pizzello/Associated Press

With the Seattle Seahawks putting a beatdown of epic proportions on the Denver Broncos en route to a 43-8 victory in Super Bowl XLVIII, the commercials truly became the star of the experience.

Bob Dylan's surprise Chrysler ad stole the show.

Dylan rarely makes appearances, so when the legendary musician speaks, the nation tends to listen. This is especially the case when his raspy voice begins a commercial by saying "Is there anything more American than America?"

No, Mr. Dylan, there is not, and the well-executed ad grabbed the attention of viewers around the globe as Chrysler did a few years ago in an ad of the same ilk, featuring musician Eminem:

Chrysler certainly has a habit of pairing unmistakable stars with quality to get its point across, as it did in 2012 with Clint Eastwood:

As always, there was plenty of competition for the hearts and minds of viewers this year, including two ads by T-Mobile featuring a man by the name of Tim Tebow:

Other Super Bowl ad heavyweights such as Budweiser threw down copious amounts of cash for a slot and impressive production values:

But something about Dylan's ad struck a chord with viewers. Perhaps it was this epic line that ensured the commercial and brand will be plastered on the minds of American viewers as they try to sleep the night after the big game:

"Let Germany brew your beer, let Switzerland assemble your watch, let Asia assemble your phone. We will build your car."

That will do the trick. The response to the ad was overwhelmingly positive on social media:

While quite a surprise, this is far from Dylan's first foray into commercials. Brent Snavely and Brian McCollum of the Detroit Free Press explain the legend's history in this regard:

Dylan, who has been flouting expectations since he took his music electric in 1965, is no stranger to commercial endorsements. In addition to the Jeep spots, he has licensed his music or image to ads for Victoria’s Secret, Apple, Google and even another Detroit automaker: a 2007 commercial for the Cadillac Escalade.

Of course, there was some segment of viewers who did not like the ad, but the mostly positive response reinforced the notion that big names and surprises are a must to stick in the minds of viewers during an event that is littered with high quality and innovation in the advertising realm.

It will take some time to find out how the successful ad impacts the sales for the Chrysler 200, but one thing is for certain—the quality of the Super Bowl game surely did not help things.

By the time Dylan's ad ran, a presumably large segment of the projected audience had likely turned off the boring affair. Peyton Manning, coming off the best season by a quarterback in NFL history, did not lead the Broncos to a touchdown until the end of the third quarter—by which point they were down 36-8. 

Regardless of the ad's impact on actual sales, Dylan's cameo has served its purpose. People are talking about the commercial, and Chrysler once again is at the forefront of minds everywhere after another stellar Super Bowl performance.


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