The Dodge Super Bowl Ad Featuring Martin Luther King Did Not Go Over Well

Entertainment Writer
02.04.18

Most of the ads for Sunday’s Super Bowl found their way online well before the game, but a few surprises made their way to game time. One of those was Dodge’s commercial for the Ram truck that used Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s voice to highlight the truck’s role in helping others in times of need. It was likely an ad that was meant to be uplifting and positive while also pushing the brand forward. It was also likely an ad that common sense should’ve nipped in the bud. The speech used came from February 4th 50 years ago and was meant to highlight the need for greatness and service according to Business Insider:

“Recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant…That’s your new definition of greatness — it means that everybody can be great because everybody can serve,” King says in a voiceover during the commercial, which depicts fishermen, military, football players, and others on the job before cutting to shots of Dodge Ram trucks.

The commercial ends with Dodge’s tagline, “Built to Serve.”

People were not happy that a speech from MLK and the Civil Rights Movement was being used to sell a pickup truck. No matter the imagery or intention behind it, most people felt that using the late Civil Rights leader was in bad taste:

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