Volkswagen and Algernon want Super Bowl fans to say OOOOOOKKKKAAAAYYYYYY to Jamaica
FEW things are more entertaining that people looking for offence and finding it in dust. Volkswagen has produced an advert to be screened during the Super Bowl (tip: fast forward to the ads) that features a white Midwesterner expressing his chilled-out lifestyle in a faked Jamaican accent.
USA Today finds the upset:
“It’s pretty horrific,” says Ricki Fairley-Brown, president of the multicultural marketing agency Dove Marketing. “Why do they have a white guy from Minnesota faking a Jamaican accent?”
Because a black guy from Spanish Town couldn’t fake it. And the white guy from Kingston was busy.
Even more troubled by the spot is Rochelle Newman-Carrasco, chief hispanic marketing strategist at Walton Isaacson, an African-American, Gay/Lesbian and Hispanic agency. “What happens in this ad is that the culture becomes a punch line, and that is offensive.” Pop cultural guru Barbara Lippert is not amused, either. “It made me uncomfortable to see all of those white people in an office setting doing this,” she says. “I found it offensive.”
I spotted one Asian face. And would it be less offensive if the fakers were black?
Wykeham McNeill, Jamaica’s minister of tourism and entertainment. “We view it as a compliment,” says McNeill. “People should get into their inner Jamaica and get happy.” He’s even negotiating with VW for some sort of co-branding.