If you were distracted by Bob Dylan's surprising clarity or the pointed message of Chrysler's Super Bowl ad, you probably didn't see that the "Imported From Detroit" tag was dropped in favor of "America's Import." But the 200 commercial was still chok-full of Detroit goodness.
Route 66, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and other heavy doses of Americana were here, but Chrysler made sure not to forget where they're sorta headquartered these days. Again, in one of those things that Detroiters would immediately recognize, but no one else would, one of the wink-winks in the ad was a quick shot of the legendary Baker's Keyboard Lounge, the oldest jazz club in the city and the oldest in the nation.
By "oldest in the nation," sure, it might not be the first — but Baker's has been continuously operating since 1933, narrowly escaping closure when it nearly went out of business a few years back.
Every jazz act of their day, from up-and-comers to veterans, played Baker's, and they still do. Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck and Art Tatum all made stops here. Of course, youngsters like Aretha Franklin and Anita Baker made their marks here — and both returned here later in their careers to make videos here, Franklin's "Freeway of Love" and Baker's "Same Ole Love." And if you've watched "Standing in the Shadows of Motown," Baker's is mentioned as one of many clubs where Motown's session musicians, the Funk Brothers, honed their sound. Oh, and "Sparkle," Whitney Houston's last movie, was partially filmed here.
That's not all. There's also a quick shot of downtown Detroit (not the Renaissance Center, of course) at the 1:27 mark where you can see the Book Tower and the Guardian Building, and another quick shot of the Detroit River at 1:30. Across the river is Windsor, where Chrysler's Canadian headquarters are.
I'm also going to assume the plant workers are at the 200/Avenger's assembly plant in Sterling Heights, the same city home to a lovely Best Western where the non-Detroit Jalopnik staff stayed while they were in town for the Detroit auto show.
I still think Bob Seger would've been better, but good job Chrysler.