"In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dodge truck owners also believe in a life of serving others", the company said on YouTube.
On Twitter, most people expressed the idea that using King's speech to "sell trucks" crossed a line between a heartfelt message and exploiting emotions just to push a vehicle.
Reps from Dodge defended the ad via a statement claiming that it "worked closely with the representatives of the Martin Luther King Jr. estate to receive the necessary approvals". King's 1968 speech "The Drum Major Instinct", was the backdrop for a spot that ultimately was used to sell trucks.
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Someone else took Dr. King's words about about advertising in general and recut the commercial. Dodge and Highdive either didn't know or didn't care that MLK spoke out against the exact kind of lie they perpetrated.
Credit to Current Affairs for tweaking it and using Martin Luther King's actual message to dunk all over the craven executives at Dodge and whatever pathetic ad agency conceived of this monstrosity (something called a Highdive, apparently).
"From the meta energy of Tide's "we can make anything a Tide ad campaign", to Doritos and Mountain Dew's lip-sync battle between Morgan Freeman and Peter Dinklage, to Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. having the time of their life in a Dirty Dancing themed National Football League spot; most of the audience favourites this year were all about having fun", he says.
The auto company went on to say they got all necessary approval from the estate. People were thoroughly unimpressed, and quite frankly, disappointed that King's words were being used for such a materialistic, trivial sales pitch.
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Bernice King responded to a tweet asking if the King children approved the commercial with a succinct "No". Ram Trucks, a division of Fiat-Chrysler, claims the ad was saluting service, a value embraced and embodied by King, but many consumers aren't buying it. "That's the new definition of greatness", MLK can be heard saying.
"One Dr. Martin Luther King's words have seeped into the popular culture", Bowens said. Despite their best intentions the ad even received rebuke from the King Center.
The King Center in Atlanta posted on Twitter early on Monday that it did not approve the advertisement. Showing members of the military, police, and others giving back to their communities, and ending with RAM's tagline, "Built to Serve", the ad has drawn significant ire from people online.
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