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Ram Defends Super Bowl Ad, Says Martin Luther King Estate Approved it

05 February 2018

Ram uses the speech in its second Super Bowl LLI commercial to help sell pickup trucks, which some are finding a bit tone deaf.

"If you want to be important - wonderful".

The ad, by a Chicago-based boutique ad agency called Highdive, used the audio of an MLK speech delivered on February 4, 1968, against a montage of everyday people, along with shots of the Ram 1500 truck. "You don't have to know about Pluto and Aristotle to serve". You don't have to know the theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You don't have to know the theory of relativity to serve. "Soul generated by love". "If you want to be recognized -wonderful", King says in the speech featured in the commercial. "And you can be that servant".

"Thus we made a decision to be a part of Ram's "Built To Serve" Super Bowl program", the King Estate said. So if you make an income of $5,000, your vehicle shouldn't cost more than about $2,500.

April said that the use of Dr. King's speech in the advertisement was "unsettling".

When Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a sermon imploring hearers to imitate the servanthood of Jesus, he probably didn't envision them buying Ram trucks to do so.

Dr. King's youngest daughter Bernice King immediately denounced the advert and the move itself, having taken to Twitter through The King Center, the official living memorial to MLK, founded by his wife Coretta Scott King to advocate nonviolence. During the shots, you hear Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s voice in the background.

"Once the final creative was presented for approval, it was reviewed to ensure it met our standard integrity clearances".

Several people on social media found the commercial distasteful.

Ram Defends Super Bowl Ad, Says Martin Luther King Estate Approved it