Chrysler has confirmed the worst-kept secret on Madison Avenue, saying Friday it will be back to advertise on the Super Bowl this Sunday. Bob Dylan, the 74-year old music legend, will star in one of the spots, according to Billboard.
Chrysler has created some of the most successful and critically-praised spots in the Super Bowl in recent years: last year's ode to American farmers, Clint Eastwood's gravel-voiced "Halftime in America" speech before that and Eminem's "Imported from Detroit" classic three years ago. So it comes as no surprise that the newly newly-renamed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is back with three new spots on Fox's telecast of Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday.
The first will debut during the first commercial break in Sunday's game between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium, according to Chrysler spokeswoman Diane Morgan. The second will air during halftime. The third will run in the first commercial break of the third quarter.
So what models will Chrysler push?
You can bet one of them will be the 2015 Chrysler 200, the successor to the midsize sedan that Eminem helped introduce on the Super Bowl. The all-new 200 was touted as Chrysler's flagship vehicle at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne hinted that the new 200 would be featured on the Super Bowl when he recalled the Eminem spot in Detroit: "We had the right ad, but the wrong car. Now we have the right car."
Another likely Super Bowl star is the Jeep Cherokee. Based partly on strong sales of the new Cherokee, Mr. Marchionne predicted Jeep will reach 1 million in global volume this year.
The relationship between Mr. Dylan and Chrysler began, according to Billboard, when Jeep licensed a rare version of the folk singer covering the song "Motherless Children" in its 60-second launch spot for the Cherokee.
Chrysler has diverged from rival automakers' Super Bowl tactics by holding back its ads entirely this long. Chevrolet, Toyota, Volkswagen, Jaguar, Audi, Hyundai and Kia have previewed some or all of the work they'll show on Super Sunday.
With most of the industry showing their creative cards up front, maybe Chrysler is smart to refrain. It hasn't hurt the success of its Super Bowl ads in recent years. And as Mr. Dylan sang: "The line it is drawn, the curse it is cast. The slow one now, will later be fast." Stay tuned.