Super Bowl LII has brimming with good commercials — and one curious 15-second blackout — but Dodge Ram made the unusual decision to couple a spot for truck sales with a 50-year-old voice-over speech by Martin Luther King, Jr., and social media erupted with disdain for the mismatched product plug.
Similar to the uproarious reaction Kendall Jenner's tone deaf Pepsi commercial received in 2017, the ad received immediate backlash for using the Civil Rights icon's speech to sell pickup trucks.
Using MLK Jr. speeches to sell trucks during Black History Month? 😒— Britt Julious (@britticisms) February 5, 2018
Did they just try to use MLK to sell trucks?— Maureen Johnson (@maureenjohnson) February 5, 2018
Ok that was weird, and not in a good way, hearing MLK's words used to sell products ... #SuperBowlAds— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) February 5, 2018
I'm not sure what product I WOULDN'T feel icky about Martin Luther King, Jr., shilling for via archival audio, but Dodge Ram is pretty far down that list anyway.— Todd VanDerWerff (@tvoti) February 5, 2018
The truck brand's other Super Bowl LII commercial series, centered on a bunch of Vikings using their prized horsepower to haul their vessel to the choppy waters, was a little similar to Bud Light's "Bud Knight" bit, but at least that one wasn't a cultural facepalm.