DID Ram Trucks cross the line with its Built to Serve TV commercial? The sixty second piece utilises Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s speech of the same name; a speech that turned 50 on the same day as the NFL’s Super Bowl LII.
In the words of parent brand Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA): the Built to Serve video supports a core belief of the Ram Truck brand, and Ram truck owners, that true greatness is achieved by helping others. It features the all-new 2019 Ram 1500.
The heart of the 60-second spot is a speech that Dr Martin Luther King Jr delivered exactly 50 years ago today (February 4, 1968) that illustrates this value perfectly.
The Ram Truck brand believes in Dr King’s notion that “everybody can be great because everybody can serve,” and Ram owners demonstrate this commitment every day in lending helping hands to their families, friends and communities.
The spot is comprised of 26 powerful images of those serving others, with Dr King’s commanding voice calling for all of us to serve.
But not everyone shared FCA’s vision to promote the truck. The brand’s YouTube channel has more than 1,500 comments underneath the video already, with all bar a few slamming them for suing the speech.
“Words of a great man, pimped by his lame descendants, pimped by Dodge Ram; tacky, tasteless and stupid. Perfect for the USA,” wrote Nicholas McGill.
Hundreds of commenters called out Ram Trucks for the fact the speech talks about being taken by advertisers who appeal to our sense of vanity.
“We should all pay particular attention to the passage about people being taken in by advertisers who want to sell us a product by appealing to our sense of vanity,” Joshua Moore said.
The TVC was one of several placed by FCA during the quarter breaks for the NFL’s marquee event, with the other commercials focused on a range of Jeep products, all with far less controversial themes.