Bob Dylan plugs Detroit in Chrysler Super Bowl ad

Bob Dylan, during a 2012 performance in Los Angeles, starred in a Super Bowl commercial for Chrysler.
(Chris Pizzello / Associated Press)

Chrysler solidified its Super Bowl tradition of enlisting entertainment heavyweights to testify to the legacy of Detroit automobile-making with Sunday’s two-minute ad featuring Bob Dylan.

At the outset, Dylan aficionados might reasonably suspect that the Bard from Hibbing, Minn., might be putting everyone on when he asks, “Is there anything more American than America?,” behind an image of a woman holding an American flag while she stands on the ocean shore.

The Spanish-tinged guitar riff from Dylan’s “Things Have Changed” begins, then his band kicks in with the song’s rolling beat as Dylan continues, “You can’t duplicate legacy, because what Detroit created was a first, and became an inspiration to the rest of the world.

PHOTOS: Concerts by the Times


“Yeah,” he says, stepping out of an elevator, “Detroit made cars, and cars made America.”

After paying homage to American craftsmanship and factory workers, Dylan concludes while showing off his skill in a pool hall, “So let Germany brew your beer. Let Switzerland make your watch. Let Asia assemble your phone. We will build your car.”

Previous Chrysler TV ads have featured Eminem, Clint Eastwood and John Mellencamp.

It’s the latest TV ad in which Dylan has been prominently featured as a pitchman, following his 2007 appearance in a Cadillac Escalade commercial, and a 2004 spot for Victoria’s Secret that featured his song “Love Sick.”

Although Dylan largely left the subject of car culture to Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys when both emerged on the pop music scene in the ‘60s, Dylan did unleash some witty automotive metaphors in “Dirty World,” the Traveling Wilburys song for which he was the primary writer.

PHOTOS: Iconic rock guitars and their owners

“You don’t need no wax job, you’re smooth enough for me,” he sang in that 1988 track from “Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1,” his supergroup with George Harrison, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne. “If you need your oil changed, I’d do it for you free.

“Oh baby, the pleasure be all mine/If you let me drive your pickup truck and park it where the sun don’t shine.”

At the end of the cut, all the other members of the Wilburys join Dylan in tossing out loopy allusions: “He loves your fuel injection…He loves your service charge…He loves your five-speed gearbox…He loves your power steering…He loves your parts and service…”

Here is Dylan’s ad that spotlights the new Chrysler 200:


The times really are a-changin’ for Dylan

Prince appears on ‘New Girl,’ debuts new tune

Super Bowl 2014: Bruno Mar stands--and delivers--in halftime show

Follow Randy Lewis on Twitter: @RandyLewis2