Bob Dylan Wants You to Buy American

Slate's Culture Blog
Feb. 2 2014 9:36 PM

Bob Dylan Wants You to Buy American

Well into the third quarter of a game long since decided, a familiarly croaky voice intoned a Madison Avenue koan: "Is there anything more American than America?"

It was Bob Dylan, urging all who watched the Super Bowl to buy American cars. Specifically the Chrysler 200, judging from the title card at the end. (Never mind that Chrysler is owned by Fiat, a multinational company headquartered in Italy.) But Dylan didn't mention Chrysler, just "American pride," and "the zoom, and the roar, and the thrust," and "the heart and soul of every man and woman working on the line."

The ad calls to mind the Clint Eastwood spot directed by David Gordon Green that got a lot of attention two years ago, though this commercial is not as well written or directed as that one was. ("Is there anything more American than America?") But this is not the first time Dylan has raised eyebrows with a high-profile commercial—and, for better or for worse, American automobiles are a more obvious product for him to hawk than upscale lingerie.

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.