One of the most highly anticipated parts of the Super Bowl every year is watching all of the commercials. They break the ice a bit and bring everyone together on game day — even if you're rooting for opposing teams. However, there was one commercial in particular from this year's game had people very concerned. Tweets about the MLK speech in Dodge Ram's Super Bowl commercial show that a lot of people are not too happy about it, and they are voicing their opinions very strongly on social media. Elite Daily reached out to Dodge for comment on the commercial but did not hear back at the time of publication.
UPDATE: William B. Wachtel, Co-Founder of Drum Major Institute, released a statement on Monday, Feb. 5, as follows:
Last night an ad appeared during the Super Bowl that excerpted words from Dr. King’s famous “Drum Major instinct” sermon to promote the sale of cars. The Drum Major Institute – an organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy – in no way condones the use of Dr. King’s sermon for this purpose. In this, one of the last sermons of his life, Dr. King talked about both the virtues and the evils of the basic instinct all people possess to be “drum majors.” In a twist of irony, one of the specific evils Dr. King condemned was the exploitation of the drum major instinct by advertisers, particularly car advertisers. The relevant excerpt of the speech is below:
'Now the presence of this instinct explains why we are so often taken by advertisers. You know, those gentlemen of massive verbal persuasion. And they have a way of saying things to you that kind of gets you into buying. In order to be a man of distinction, you must drink this whiskey. In order to make your neighbors envious, you must drive this type of car. In order to be lovely to love you must wear this kind of lipstick or that kind of perfume. And you know, before you know it, you’re just buying that stuff. That’s the way advertisers do it. . . the drum major instinct is real...'
EARLIER: Dodge Ram's Super Bowl ad starts out with Martin Luther King Jr. reciting part of his "The Drum Major Instinct" sermon from 1968. In the Dodge Ram ad, you hear MLK's voice throughout, starting off with, "If you want to be important, wonderful. If you want to be recognized, wonderful. If you want to be great, wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant."
People immediately took to Twitter to criticize the choice of pairing MLK's very powerful and moving speech with marketing Dodge Ram trucks in a Super Bowl commercial.
If you missed the Super Bowl ad on TV, you can view it here:
People are flooding Twitter and are not happy that MLK's voice and speech were chosen for this particular ad.
Many people are voicing strong opinions on how they believe this was not an appropriate choice.
The King Center even had something to say about the ad, tweeting, "Neither @TheKingCenter nor @BerniceKing is the entity that approves the use of #MLK’s words or imagery for use in merchandise, entertainment (movies, music, artwork, etc) or advertisement, including tonight’s @Dodge#SuperBowl commercial."
We all know that the immense planning and money that goes into just one Super Bowl commercial is actually unreal. According to CBS Sports, a commercial that's 30 seconds long can cost close to $5 million.
Many brands truly bring on the best in celeb entertainment to make their commercial stand out from the pack. The best ones should never fail to leave a lasting impression in all of our minds. The controversial ones that cause a stir on Twitter, of course, will be remembered as well by millions of viewers who were glued to their TV screens.
The company that owns Dodge, Fiat Chrysler, will have multiple chances to make impressions on viewers this year, as they will be airing a total of five — yes, five — commercials this evening. According to Detroit News, both General Motors and Ford aren't airing Super Bowl ads this year.
Chrysler has been notorious for making their presence known when it comes to star-studded Super Bowl ads in the past.
They've had a wide range of celebrities spotlighted in their commercials, from Clint Eastwood to Eminem.
The first Chrysler commercial to come out this evening for Super Bowl LII spotlighted the Ram pickup truck in an Icelandic Viking-themed ad.
In the ad, a group of Icelandic Vikings piled into the Ram truck, and cruised down the road while listening to Queen's "We Will Rock You," as the truck towed their ship to the shore.
The motor vehicle company's second ad of the night was to promote their Jeep.
"The road always ends, and this is where some of our best stories begin," the commercial says. When it comes down to it, companies want to sell their products with creative commercials, and people on Twitter are free to voice their opinions. The Super Bowl is notorious for a wide range of ads, some of which leave a very lasting impression.