Dodge Sparks Major Online Backlash
On the other end of the Super Bowl spectrum lies a highly controversial ad by Dodge that has amassed over 12k dislikes on Youtube to date. By using a Martin Luther King Jr. sermon as the voice-over for its Ram truck commercial, the carmaker sparked major outrage on social media, with many people expressing their indignation at the improper use of King’s iconic words to merely sell trucks. Simply put, the commercial featured footage of people helping others out to the sound of King highlighting the virtues of service as part of a 1968 sermon, just before the slogan “Built to Serve” is shown on screen in the end alongside the Ram logo. Dodge’s move did not sit well with the audience at all and the company was slammed all over social media for allegedly ‘commercializing’ and misrepresenting King’s words for marketing purposes. In response to the criticism, the company clarified it had worked closely with Martin Luther King Jr. estate representatives to ensure the necessary approvals every step of the way. "It is 50 years to the day that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave such a tremendous speech about the value of service. Ram was honored to have the privilege of working with the Estate of Martin Luther King Jr. to celebrate those words during the largest TV viewing event annually," the official statement read. The King Center (founded by King's wife as a living memorial), on the other hand, said it had nothing to do with the commercial, specifying in a tweet that it does not approve the use of MLK’S words or imagery in merchandise, entertainment or advertisement.