Billboard, the music trade publication, reported hat Dylan will appear in the automaker’s Super Bowl commercial for the new Chrysler 200.
Olivier Francois, Chrysler’s chief marketing officer, has orchestrated spots over the last three years featuring Eminem, Clint Eastwood and the late radio commentator Paul Harvey in mood-setting spots aimed at pressing consumers’ emotional hot buttons not usually associated with cars or trucks.
Some have resonated powerfully. Others, such as the Clint Eastwood’s “Halftime in America” soliloquy, were seen by some critics as confusing and detached from any specific vehicle.
Last year, Chrysler aired two commercials, one for Jeep with Oprah Winfrey narrating and a separate spot for Ram trucks with a recording of Harvey’s classic “So God Made a Farmer.” Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said earlier this month that the company will be advertising in the Super Bowl.
“We had the right commercial and the wrong car” in 2011, Marchionne said minutes after the company unveiled the all-new Chrysler 200 at the Detroit auto show. “I think we now have hopefully the right commercial and the right car.”
Only time and future sales will tell whether the often-ornery Dylan can be an effective pitchman for a relatively ordinary midsize sedan. Last fall, Chrysler also debuted a commercial for the Jeep Cherokee with a recording of Dylan singing “Motherless Children.”
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.