About Your Privacy on this Site
Welcome! To bring you the best content on our sites and applications, Meredith partners with third party advertisers to serve digital ads, including personalized digital ads. Those advertisers use tracking technologies to collect information about your activity on our sites and applications and across the Internet and your other apps and devices.
You always have the choice to experience our sites without personalized advertising based on your web browsing activity by visiting the DAA’s Consumer Choice page, the NAI's website, and/or the EU online choices page, from each of your browsers or devices. To avoid personalized advertising based on your mobile app activity, you can install the DAA’s AppChoices app here. You can find much more information about your privacy choices in our privacy policy. Even if you choose not to have your activity tracked by third parties for advertising services, you will still see non-personalized ads on our sites and applications. By clicking continue below and using our sites or applications, you agree that we and our third party advertisers can:
  • transfer your data to the United States or other countries; and
  • process and share your data so that we and third parties may serve you with personalized ads, subject to your choices as described above and in our privacy policy.
Entertainment Weekly

Super Bowl

Super Bowl pickup truck ad outrages viewers by using MLK speech

Posted on

I have a dream … of a fully-loaded 4×2 Ram pickup truck?

Ram Trucks outraged some Super Bowl viewers with a commercial that used a recording of a Martin Luther King Jr. speech to push car sales.

The 30-second ad — which is seemingly meant to be sincere and patriotic — featured evocative images of blue-collar Americans at work, with family and giving back to their communities. A speech made by Dr. King on Feb. 4, 1968 (50 years ago today) plays as voiceover throughout. Explains the ad’s description: “In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ram truck owners also believe in a life of serving others.”

But viewers used terms like “tone deaf” and “shameful” and “bad taste,” and even the foundation devoted to preserving King’s memory issued a statement distancing itself from the ad.

Watch the commercial above and read the reactions below (note: Many are using “Dodge” to refer to the truck’s parent company but Ram and Dodge are now technically sibling divisions under Fiat Chrysler):

The King Center — the memorial nonprofit founded by Coretta Scott King to honor MLK — released a statement making it clear that neither the organization nor King’s daughter Bernice King had approved of the ad or gave permission for the speech to be used:

But not everybody was against the ad:

UPDATE: According to Slate, Ram did indeed get approval from the King estate for the ad. The brand “worked closely with the representatives of the Martin Luther King Jr. estate to receive the necessary approvals… Estate representatives were a very important part of the creative process”

Outbrain

Tags