How many roads must a Chrysler midsize sedan drive down before you can call it a critical and consumer success? The answer, my friend, might come in a few months if all goes well with the rollout of the 2015 200, which might have an assist from Bob Dylan himself.
Rumor has it, according to Billboard, that Dylan will star in an ad for the 200 airing during the Super Bowl in a few days. If the news is true, then truly nothing is a secret in the auto industry; Chrysler's Super Bowl ads have notoriously been kept under tight wraps until the moment before it airs.
Last year, no one knew Chrysler was planning a double-header with Ram's "So God Made a Farmer" ad and Oprah in a Jeep spot until about 10 minutes before they aired. Executives have said in the past that prior commercials, including Clint Eastwood's "Halftime in America" and the one that started it all, Eminem's original "Imported From Detroit" 200 ad, aren't shown until the day before or the morning of the big game, with only a literal handful of people in the know bringing it all together beforehand.
Here's my beef, though: Bob Dylan, really? I mean, I get it. Dylan's obviously an American icon, Chrysler wants to keep up its gritty, all-American(?) theme and whatnot. But if they really wanted a great American songwriter that's easily identifiable to the public, was Bob Seger not available?
I'd argue Seger fits the "Imported From Detroit" mantra more than Dylan, and he'd fit in nicely with Eminem, Berry Gordy and the company's other local superstars. Maybe Seger was on the short list, but cut because of those old "Like A Rock" Chevy commercials from back in the day. But then again, Dylan did some Cadillac commercials and Oprah gave away a bunch of Pontiac G6s. There's no loyalty when money's on the table.
Billboard notes that Dylan and Chrysler already have a relationship with his cover of "Motherless Children" being used in a recent Jeep Cherokee ad. It wouldn't be Fiat-Chrysler's first time using one artist on multiple brands: Pitbull was hawking for Fiat while Dodge sponsored his last tour.
I can't imagine either Dylan or Seger driving a 200, though. I can imagine everyone in Detroit — again — buying this 200 regardless of who's hawking it as long as they've got that "Imported From Detroit" tagline at the end of the ad.