As soon as the ad aired, Kidsleepy who was manning the adland account tweeted:
— adland ® (@adland) 5 februari 2018
Because yes, we hate found audio ads, they're conceptually lazy manifesto ads with borrowed interest from historical figures, that will open up a minefield of balancing just right as many historical figures protested consumerism so using their voice in an ad can seem quite hypocritical. But if you do manage to get it past business affairs, legal and secure the rights to the audio without ever once asking yourself "is this a good idea?" then congratulations, you are RAM trucks.
As soon as it aired, upset people took to Twitter to ask did the King estate really approve that audio? And so, the disagreements in the King family was now on full display, as the King Center tweeted this:
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.
— The King Center (@TheKingCenter) 5 februari 2018
However, the audio was approved by Intellectual Properties Management Inc. which is run by King's son Dexter. Eric D. Tidwell, managing director of the organization said in a statement early Monday:
"We found that the overall message of the ad embodied Dr. King's philosophy that true greatness is achieved by serving others. Thus we decided to be a part of Ram's 'Built To Serve' Super Bowl program."
Yet another reason not to use found audio, you know apart from the fact that every time you do, a copywriter's soul dies a little. Learn this lesson by the next Super Bowl, dear brands. No more classic poetry or speeches, please!