Dodge might've missed the mark on their MLK-inspired commercial

Dodge might've missed the mark on their MLK-inspired commercial

As any student of American history can tell you, Martin Luther King Jr. was all about two things: social justice, and the rugged power of a Dodge Ram.

A remixed version of Dodge Ram's controversial Super Bowl commercial - in which they used a Martin Luther King Jr. speech to promote their trucks - featured words from the civil rights icon in which he blasts the corporate materialism pushed by vehicle companies.

Eric Tidwell, managing director of IPM, confirmed that it granted FCA permission and said in an email that the overall message of Ram Truck's "Built To Serve" ad embodies King's philosophy on serving others.

The "Built to serve" campaign used excerpts of a Martin Luther King Jr. sermon called "The Drum Major Instinct" from 50 years ago at an Atlanta church, but it didn't sit well with critics.

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By Monday morning, someone recut the ad, wielding King's words against the car-making giant.

"Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, and I'm a flawless representation by enjoying not just the luxury, but the right to a free education".

"Do you ever see people buy cars that they can't even begin to buy in terms of their income?" That ad shows King giving his most famous speech to an empty Mall in Washington D.C.to illustrate the idea that "before you can touch, you must first connect".

The last word on the subject may very well belong to King, who in that same sermon discussed the perils of unfettered capitalism and the complicity of advertisers in persuading people to serve themselves through wonton consumerism.

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Still, not everyone directly affiliated with King's legacy seemed eager to be associated with the ad. King's estate is ran by his son Dexter Scott King, while the non-profit King Center is ran by King's daughter Bernice King.

As the ad was being assailed on Twitter, another entity, The King Center, made it clear it had nothing to do with it.

A Super Bowl ad for a 4WD that used a speech by Martin Luther King Jr is drawing a backlash in the US. A statement released immediately after the commercial aired said the sermon supports "a core belief of the Ram Truck Brand, and Ram truck owners, that true greatness is achieved by helping others".

Now the presence of this instinct explains why we are so often taken by advertisers. Segregationist George Wallace finished at #7 on the list the year before MLK was assassinated, while Dr. King did not even make the cut.

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