Dodge Sparks Ma­jor On­line Back­lash

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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.

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