Bob Dylan's Super Bowl Ad: Selling Out, or Sign of the Times?
Is there anything more American than America?
'Cause you can't import original.
You can't fake true cool.
You can't duplicate legacy.
Because what Detroit created was a first
and became an inspiration to the... rest of the world.
Yeah...Detroit made cars. And cars made America.
Making the best, making the finest, takes conviction.
And you can't import, the heart and soul, of every man and woman working on the line.
You can search the world over for the finer things,
but you won't find a match for the American road
and the creatures that live on it.
Because we believe in the zoom,
and the roar, and the thrust.
And when it's made here, it's made with the one thing
you can't import from anywhere else. American...Pride.
So let Germany brew your beer,
Let Switzerland make your watch,
Let Asia assemble your phone.
We...will build...your car.
No matter how good the copy was, it would pale in comparison to Dylan's penetrating, inimitable lyrics. And perhaps that is ultimately what angered Bob's fans the most -- that these clearly weren't his words he was muttering. Hearing Dylan prattle on melodramatically about zoom, roar, and thrust was a waste of his singular talents. You have Bob freaking Dylan in your advertisement, Chrysler -- give him something a bit more poetic to say.
Then again, anyone who truly expected transcendence from a car ad simply because Dylan was in it was going to be let down.
After regularly being inundated with ads for beers I'll never drink, medications that I don't have to take (yet), and low-quality fast food, it's thrilling to see a musical hero appear amidst the inane, interminable din of most advertising (or Fox sitcom programming). I just wish that Dylan was simply given -- or had written -- better material. The sheer amount of words he uttered throughout the advert amount to just as much as Dylan has shared on stages over the past
couple decades combined. It's a rare pleasure to hear
Bob speak at such length, but his voice telling us "You can't fake true cool" in this fashion rings hollow.
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