What MLK REALLY Thought About Car Commercials
This year’s batch of Super Bowl commercials largely avoided controversy. One ad that did raise a few eyebrows, though, was the one for Dodge Ram trucks. It used the actual words of Martin Luther King Jr. about being of service to one’s community. The speech was actually given on February 5th 1968 so it was 50 years ago TO THE DAY from Super Bowl LII. Some people questioned whether Dr. King’s words should be used in such a crass, commercial (literally) way. The use of MLK’s voice was approved by Intellectual Properties Management, the licenser of the late King’s estate.
The true irony, though, is that the speech in question actually goes on to pointedly criticize excessive consumerism and, amazingly, the dangers of being lured in BY CAR COMMERCIALS!
I actually had to double check to make sure this is true (it is!). It’s just seems incredible that the SAME EXACT SPEECH that Dodge used to sell trucks during the Super Bowl actually goes on to specifically call out car commercials for their detrimental effect on the national character.
Somebody took the time to put the OTHER words from that MLK speech over the images from the Dodge Ram commercial.
Also, it kind of seems like the people making licensing decisions for the estate of Martin Luther King Jr. need to start listening to his speeches all the way through before accepting a big fat check.