A New Definition of Greatness


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a truly beautiful human being. Although he was certainly not perfect, he was a perfect example of a religious person working within the structures of Orthodoxy as a reverend who wasn't purely externalizing everything like sadly so much of religious systems do. He knew and understood much deeper notions, realizations, and truths about how at the inner beautiful core of religious structures, the ones rarely seen, there relates messages not outside of oneself or about corporealized deities, or an old man in the sky with a celestial penis, but instead everyone, internally, esoterically. Because of that he was quite a philosopher and was embodied with spirit.

Much of my personal passion project work is spiritually philosophical. As a somewhat esoteric documentary filmmaker, whether it be stills or moving images, I self-shoot footage personally to serve that purpose. Another major part of what I also do is shoot footage for various projects for others. I often times if not always have either a still camera or video camera with me from travels and am constantly documenting moments for my film work on a whim. Much of my travel footage I license out via a site I'm a member of called Filmsupply. As a full-service licensing agency, they partner with leading filmmakers to bring footage from their passion projects to you through their highly curated catalog.

Filmsupply is great and I really am happy to be part of their team and they have some really world-renowned filmmakers onboard the venture. I am very uncommercial and have come to know what I'm good at and not good at and they are a perfect venture to be affiliated with because all I have to do is shoot great stuff and they basically deal with the rest. Studios, companies, brands, well-known names throughout the world, go to them for licensing extra footage if they need to pick up shots here and there for their own various projects. Since the content of my personal work is quite esoteric and paradigm destroyingly awesome, as you can tell by the themes I talk about and the content I direct contains, when I send them footage it's open season for anyone to buy it. And I have no real say or control over that which is how the process of stock type imagery works. Sometimes I see footage is purchased for something I'm not personally in alignment with but that's okay. Regardless, it's nice to see things pop up that you shot in other projects that deemed your footage of excellent enough quality to purchase. So I will say that I'm happy to see some footage I shot unexpectedly pop up in a 2018 Super Bowl spot featuring a voiceover by Martin Luther King Jr. A commercial during the most watched moment in television, which goes to show the quality of the material visually is deemed worthy for the highest budget advertising. Here's the spot in its entirety.

There is a major separation between the underlying content of what I shoot footage for and similar footage used in a different context for a corporate ad. This ad is an anomaly because it has a controversial element of it essentially using the voice of the amazing American the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. To essentially sell cars. I.e. one comment beautifully says "witnessing the bastardization of a great humanitarian by seeing him posthumously reduced to a corporate shill".

As someone that's worked in and out of ad agencies in Los Angeles in my former “career”, I know that creating an emotional moment correlates to memorability - which is what the ad is obviously trying to do. A major American auto manufacturer and their advertising agency they hired to make the spot is saying here’s a product to be sold by the powerful words and the historic Legacy of somebody that was very un-corporate military industrial expansion of the machine, on the front lines of fighting against the status quo. MLK’s work was not just about racism but a higher moral message about social injustice. Saying other lines like “A nation which continues year after year to spend more money on military defense (which is really military offense) than programs of social uplift, is approaching spiritual death". So Dr. King got it. He knew a few things and his spirit is why he has been shown to have been on the right side of recent history and why words spoken by him are just a pertinent and powerful 50 years later. Oftentimes old words are reused a new especially if they are words of substance and depth that philosophically can stand the test of time. Much of what MLK said during his life absolutely aligns with that way of being and one can say that using or reusing these words in a new context whatever that contacts maybe, it allows people access to those original words said when they may not have otherwise ever heard them. And his message of a new definition of greatness is to not look up to those at the top of hierarchies as great. Instead, those who are in service to others are truly the greatest because they are not concerned with ego expansion and ladder climbing but instead everyday people who help one another in life. So hooray to that re-defining of the term in the grammar/logic/rhetoric since.

This ad is very obviously polarizing in their use of Dr. King. The message being said is the most important part of the spot though and the attempt is to portrayed the message in slice of life America moments. I actually interpret Dodge/Chrysler's thoughts on the spot to say that the truck is meant to be at your service, America, as an American car manufacturer. But this spot aside, a great ad does serve multiple boxes and should be memorable. I always do see a disconnect in advertising these days that may achieve those things but then have little to no correlation with the product. So any final logo could be put on at the end whether or not you even remember it. Marketing ploys are a good example of why one could look at these things and acknowledge them as the light weight fluff that they are purely to sell a product, but at the same time there is a lot of artwork put into quite brilliant advertising and it can be a way for people to make profits off their skill set when those options aren't otherwise necessarily available. So the debate about the spot rages on.

Let’s not forget another beautiful philosophical soul who’s passed on who words also strongly live onto today, Bill hicks said that If you work in marketing or advertising you should seriously consider killing yourself. Which I find hilarious and I recently played for a marketing major and the conversation didn't go to well. That’s a bit harsh of course, but the underlying message is spot on, so maybe instead of suicide, if you work in advertising a job change would be in order? That will help the world by having the entire marketing + advertising cacophony which tries to get Larval puppet people sitting in front of the televisions to buy crap they don't need to recede into the shadows of time. Via an economy that not based on milimiliarism and consumerism but more freedom, security, transparency, prosperity for all. Themes King was an advocate of. A soul generated by love.