That Martin Luther King Jr. speech used in Ram’s car ad? It goes on to criticize car ads.
A Ram Trucks Super Bowl ad sampling audio from a Martin Luther King Jr. sermon sparked swift criticism online, despite being licensed by the late civil rights leader’s estate.
But even if King’s words received proper approval for use to sell Ram automobiles, the speech quoted in the ad itself, The Drum Major Instinct–delivered 50 years ago this month-suggests King himself may not have endorsed it.
“Now the presence of this instinct explains why we are so often taken by advertisers,” King said in the speech. “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 this kind of perfume. And you know, before you know it, you’re just buying that stuff. That’s the way the advertisers do it.”
Click to continue reading this USA Today article and watch the commercial in the video above.