Martin Luther King Shills ...


I admire Martin Luther King.

Last year I wrote about my favorite storytelling in the “I Have a Dream” speech.

This post is less about Dr. King and more about the shepherds for the estates of the famous.

I recognize there’s a revenue-generation component to these operations. Whether it involves  Elvis, Humphrey Bogart, or Martin Luther King, the people running the estates must balance short-term gain with sustaining long-term value.

If an online dating service was willing to pay big bucks to the Elvis estate for the tag line “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” – I suppose “Don’t Be Cruel” would work too – the association seems to fall within acceptable boundaries. Then again, Elvis and arguably the entertainment industry offer a wide berth of possibilities.

Because of his unique place in civil rights history, Dr. King falls on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Perhaps the dearth of opportunities is what caused the estate to sign up for this Rolex ad.

Fortune Rolex Ad
Is the watch on Dr. King’s left wrist a Rolex?

I don’t know. I doubt it.

And even if that’s the case, it still strikes me as an incongruent connection.

P.S. I can identify Jack Nicklaus, Dwight Eisenhower, Andy Warhol, Jackie Stewart, and a young Eric Clapton, but who’s the fellow at the top with his arms crossed?

Note (May 24, 2013): Several folks pointed out that Dr. King is indeed wearing a Rolex.




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