Is Volkswagen's Super Bowl ad racist?

Published On: Jan 31 2013 01:26:46 AM HST
Super Bowl ad

Just three days after it hit the Web, media critics wanted a Volkswagen ad taken down for its alleged racism.

The one-minute commercial featured a white fellow from Minnesota emulating a carefree Jamaican accent to cheer up his co-workers on a gloomy Monday.

"No worries, man, everything will be alright," the tall guy told his officemates in a thick Caribbean accent.

The lighthearted man was a complete contrast to his colleagues, who were having a bad case of the Mondays. "You know what dis room needs? A smile," he said during a boring meeting. He was then seen driving his red Volkswagen Beetle with officemates, who already adopted his merry mood.

His no-worries tone hopes to highlight Volkswagen slogan, "Get In, Get Happy," but the supposedly funny stereotype was raising some eyebrows online. Many media critics labeled the commercial racist. The pregame ad was allegedly "offensive and culturally insensitive", reminding viewers of racial segregation.

Some viewers, like Volkswagen of America, saw the ad in a different light however. According to the car company, the commercial has a sole intent of "making people happy".

Jamaica's Minister of Tourism and Entertainment was also tolerant of the controversial clip, calling it a creative commercial that depicts the "tremendous mass appeal that brand Jamaica and its hospitable people have globally."

The Volkswagen video has reached more than 3 million views since it was posted on YouTube.


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