Chrysler and Bob Dylan Super Bowl Commercial 2014

Ultimate Classic Rock: ‘We all knew that Bob Dylan‘s music would appear in two Super Bowl commercials this year, but what we didn’t know was how strongly — and clearly — he would verbally testify on behalf of the American auto industry in one of them‘. See full article here.

Bill Maher tweeted: ‘First P S Hoffman dies, then the worst super bowl ever, then Dylan does a car commercial?? Not a good day for America.

Expecting Rain (ER) Discussion member: ‘Dylan looks horrible in that ad in the truest sense of the word. Like he’s dead and has been injected with formaldehyde. When he lip-syncs it looks like the movement of his lips has been computer-generated (badly) to give the impression he’s not only dead, but whoever made the ad couldn’t be bothered pretending otherwise. I bet most kids who had the misfortune to see that ad had nightmares about it last night; hell, I bet I have nightmares about it. Mostly, the ad brought to mind some of the characters I remember from video games – maybe a cheap hood playing pool in some downtown dive in Grand Theft Auto, or a zombie in Resident Evil that has shuffled into the drug store where the good guys are hiding. Either way, it seemed like the only sensible reaction was to load up some ammo and destroy the thing, before it destroys us.’

An ER member: ‘I sat front row at a Bob show during the summer. He was not far from me. He did not look like that at all. He looked great.’

An ER member: ‘The thing that saddens me about this is not the false idea of this man personally ‘selling-out’ which just isn’t the case at all, but the freakish, Photoshopped image of the man at the pool table at the end of the video, presented as the archetypical plastic, face-lift man of Hollywood carnival. Quite simply – this is not the same man I saw and heard at the Albert Hall last year, but instead an airbrushed puppet, a spooky marionette, complete with overdubbed voice and forced to speak inane lines like “Is there anything more American than America?” (probably something Dylan wouldn’t wish to say if you pointed a gun at his head and demanded he utter it on pain of death), and it makes me sad to see this kind of stuff.
On stage, he was a magician with me and the whole audience as well. I see none of that spirit here.’

An ER member: Maybe the ghoulish / death pallor look was supposed to serve as a comment on the state of American Industry.  If so, I’ve got to wonder how much was accomplished for the legions of stunned viewers spilling their Super Bowl nachos and refried beans down the front of their shirts and then 5 minutes later forgetting completely about it.

Me: I genuinely enjoyed being a Bob Dylan fan (of nearly 30 years) up until seeing that ad. Hasn’t anyone heard of aging gracefully? The whole delivery  looks forced. The subtext is uncomfortable. The ad will backfire. I thought it all would have gone away after a good sleep. It hasn’t. I agree with Bill Maher, yesterday was a crappy day indeed.

I don’t get anything about it. I don’t get how he looked like an 80 year old vampiress (is this what he meant about transfiguration in the Rolling Stone interview?), I don’t get the message and I don’t get why he did it.

Big mystery rolled up in an ad.

Is it like his move to be photographed praying at the Western Wall back in 1983 (which he credits with helping his image)? To keep people from understanding/knowing what the f$%k is going on?

People were getting off his back about being a spokesman for a generation and now he is a spokesman for a foreign owned car company which promotes its Americanism. Makes a whole lot of sense. NOT, except if his goal is to distance himself as much as possible from being what idealists such as Joan Baez always wanted him to be.

I needed to vent. Despite the bad taste in my mouth, I will try to remember what I wrote in my previous post: ‘Output. Let’s keep our eyes on the ball. There is method to their madness.’

Related Articles / Links:

1. Watch 10 Incredible Clips From The Career of the Late, Great Philip Seymour Hoffman
2. Bob Dylan’s Genius
3. Is Chrysler America’s Company?? Their Super Bowl Ad Says They Are
4. Rolling Stone: The spot was far from Dylan’s first venture into advertising


'I am a man, a hopelessly inquisitive man, just like you.' - The Master

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Posted in Movies and TV, Music
7 comments on “Chrysler and Bob Dylan Super Bowl Commercial 2014
  1. yeah, i dont know why he sold out so hard for chrysler…there not even american anymore. maybe, he thought the contradiction was amusing

    • I liked your blog. Dylan isn’t exactly predictable. For instance, who thought he would make a XMAS album? He’s always turning, changing..being in a constant state of transformation. But I must admit, I dislike this new look.

      • Thanks man. Yeah, I completely agree. Part of his legacy is doing the unexpected, but that also allows him to write off all of his strange and bad decisions as “doing something different.”

      • I know for the first time in my nearly 30 years following Dylan, the ‘living up to’ thing affected me after seeing the commercial. I know he has done other ads before, but nothing as pronounced and strong as this. May be I didn’t understand him in the first place. But who can pretend to understand another person, especially Bob Dylan? ‘To kill a Mockingbird’ should have taught us that – Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it. Joan Baez admitted she never understood him and she was pretty close to him for a long period of time. So how can we pretend to know him? He is Robert Zimmerman too. He is more 1950’s in person than a folkie of the 60s as he remarked or words to the effect in the last Rolling Stones interview.

  2. ileneonwords says:

    As always, I enjoyed Bill Maher’s comment, a bad day indeed. You know, I don’t care that Dylan made this commercial, I really don’t. I don’t think he “sold out,” I don’t think it will hurt his career…everything he does now is gravy anyway. I’ll always be a Dylan fan and this ad…how he looks, what he says, doesn’t take away from his greatness as an artist. He’s human, so what! Enjoyed the posting!!!!!

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