Bob Dylan's Super Bowl Blitz: Set to Star In Chrysler Commercial, Licenses 'I Want You' to Chobani (Exclusive)

Bob Dylan

David Gahr

As a new Super Bowl commercial for Chobani featuring Bob Dylan’s 1966 hit “I Want You” hit the web on Tuesday, Billboard has confirmed that another Dylan-related spot will be airing on Sunday, this time starring the man himself.

Dylan will star in a new commercial for Chrysler, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the campaign, as the latest in the automaker’s series of cinematic Super Bowl ads that have starred Eminem, Clint Eastwood and Berry Gordy in recent years. An as-yet-unidentified track from Dylan’s catalog will provide the soundtrack for the commercial.

Spokespeople for both Chrysler and Dylan declined comment.
 
Though Dylan has been perceived as elusive when it comes to licensing his music for film, TV and commercials, he’s been quite active over the past decade -- albeit unpredictable. His synch and endorsement activity has ranged from the surreal (his infamous 2004 Victoria’s Secret commercial to reverent (his starring roles in a 2006 Apple ad and a 2007 spot for Chrysler rival Cadillac to the straight-up bizarre (Will.i.am’s 2009 “Forever Young” mash-up for Pepsi.

A rare, unreleased recording of Dylan covering Blind Willie Johnson’s “Motherless Children” even scored a commercial for Chrysler’s sister brand Jeep Cherokee this past fall, which helped establish a relationship for Dylan, his management and synch licensing team at Sony Music. Also last fall, Dylan’s classic “Like A Rolling Stone” was featured in an infinitely cool interactive music video promoting his “Complete Album Collection, Volume One” boxed set.

Bob Dylan’s New 'Like a Rolling Stone’ Video: More DA Pennebaker or Victoria’s Secret Ad? Can It Sell a 47-CD Box Set?

Scoring multiple high-profile Super Bowl commercials for an artist is rare but not unprecedented. Eminem famously appeared in two Super Bowl ads in 2011, for PepsiCo’s Brisk and Chrysler’s Imported From Detroit campaign. That same year, Will.i.am voiced a commercial for Salesforce.com’s Chatter, which aired moments before his group the Black Eyed Peas’ Half Time performance. Fun.’s “We Are Young,” which catapulted into the mainstream after featuring heavily in a 2012 Super Bowl spot for Chevrolet, was repurposed by Taco Bell last year with a Spanish-language remake. And this year, Bruno Mars’ 2010 song “Count On Me” will be featured in a Super Bowl ad from Hyundai, two quarters after the singer headlines the Pepsi Super Bowl Half Time Show, and several weeks after a series of pre-Game Day spots for Pepsi garnered air time with his hit “Locked Out of Heaven.”
 
Dylan’s Chrysler spot is expected to advertise the automaker’s new 200 model, which was introduced at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this month by Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne. According to Bloomberg News, Marchionne cagily confirmed that Chrysler would be advertising during this year’s Big Game, but declined to share specifics.

“Someone made the comment to me that I had the right commercial in 2011 and the wrong car,” Marchionne told reporters, referencing the Eminem spot. “I think we now have hopefully the right commercial and the right car.”
 
Automotive has traditionally been the biggest-spending marketing category during the Super Bowl, and following the post-recession turnaround, it has once been again for a third consecutive year, according to Kantar Media, where this year cost of 30-second spots have risen to an excess of $4 million.

Per Bloomberg, other car brands advertising on Sunday include Kia Motors (featuring Laurence Fishburne), Ford (starring James Franco), Jaguar (airing its first-ever Super Bowl ad), Toyota (co-starring the Muppets) and Hyundai (two commercials, including one with an aforementioned Bruno Mars synch.)