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Will Dylan Deliver Super Bowl Pitch for Chrysler?

Now merged with Fiat, U.S. makers apparently ready to declare the times, they are a’changin’.

by on Jan.30, 2014

“Well, the times they are a’changin’,” and nearly a half century after Bob Dylan made that the mantra of the counter-culture generation, Chrysler apparently sees that as the right message once again.

At least for Chrysler, which barely a week ago consummated its marriage with Italian automaker Fiat, this week delivering a four-fold increase in its profits while announcing that the newly united company would change its name to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, shift its headquarters to the Netherlands and begin listing its shares on the New York Stock Exchange. So, it seems, Dylan just might be the right person to tell the world as the latest in a series of unexpected celebratory pitchmen Chrysler has tapped for its unique, extended-form Super Bowl spots.

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Or so says Billboard magazine which claims to have gotten the inside word on preparations for the top secret spot Chrysler’s marketing team has been putting together in recent weeks.  And it would be a significant coup considering the 2-minute commercial will reportedly feature not just the singer’s music but an appearance by the 72-year-old Bob Dylan himself.

The Super Bowl has become a mecca for the “creatives” in the advertising world and studies show that many of the 100s of millions of viewers who tune in for the game this coming Sunday will be watching as much for the commercials as for the match-up between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks.

Automotive manufacturers are among the biggest spenders and the list this year includes a virtual industry who’s who, from Hyundai to General Motors – which has returned after a controversial decision to sit on the sidelines several years ago – as well as first-time advertiser Jaguar.  Volkswagen is one of many of the automakers to give fans a preview of its Super Bowl pitch, the hope being to generate even more impact on Youtube and other social media.

Chrysler, however, has remained notably silent, refusing to offer even a glimmer of what it has in store beyond vague hints that it will follow its recent form.  That began with the 2011 Super Bowl when the smallest of the Detroit makers, only recently rescued from bankruptcy, scored a touchdown with its original “Made in Detroit” ad which focused as much on the resurgence of the Motor City as on the new Chrysler 200 sedan.

(Click Here for a closer look at the new Chrysler 200.)

The ad was striking for a variety of reasons, starting with its use of Detroit rapper Eminem, as well as the cinematic quality of the production which aired for an unheard of two minutes.  Considering the cost of a more typical :30 spot that year, media and automotive analysts estimated Chrysler invested as much as $10 million in the commercial which went on to be viewed tens of millions of times on Youtube alone.

Chrysler returned with a 2012 spot that aimed to touch the nerve of a country still reeling from the impact of a massive recession – this time featuring Clint Eastwood as the somber spokesman.  Last year, Chrysler delivered two long-form spots featuring both Oprah Winfrey and a speech about farmers once delivered by celebrity newsman the late Paul Harvey.

(VW bringing its A-game for the big game. Click Here for a closer look.)

Getting Dylan to come onboard for its Super Bowl XLVIII commercial would be a major accomplishment, especially if Billboard is right and he shows his face on camera.  The yogurt company Chobani will use Dylan’s music during its game spot.

He has not been one to show up in commercial; in fact, he has only rarely performed for many years.

As to what Dylan would actually be hawking, word has it that the commercial will focus on the Chrysler 200 – an all-new one that made its public debut in mid-January at the North American International Auto Show. Chrysler has high hopes for the 2015 model which it sees as its first opportunity to give serious chase to its bigger Detroit rivals, as well as the Japanese makers who dominate the midsize sedan segment.

If the new Chrysler 200 really can become a competitive player well, the times they really would be a’changin’.

(“Anchorman” Ron Burgundy drives big surge for Dodge Durango. Click Here for the story.)

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One Response to “Will Dylan Deliver Super Bowl Pitch for Chrysler?”

  1. Jorge M. says:

    Perception is reality for most people. A perfect example is that Chyrsler/Dodge has been selling the same basic product before and after the Fiat purchase yet the perception before by some people was that Chyrsler products were poor quality and now some feel they are good quality. The fact is they were all basically good vehicles. Some folks didn’t like the old company and some folks like the new company, thus almost the same product but a different view of the company/brand. The media can sway public opinion and they typically do for right or wrong.