A particular Volkswagen ad that aired during the Super Bowl brought a fair amount of controversy with it. The ad, called “Get in. Get Happy.” features a guy from Minnesota going around his office and talking with a Jamaican accent, and ultimately getting his co-workers to do the same once they ride in a Volkswagen with him.
Some think the ad was racist. Many others don’t. Either way, the ad has gotten a lot of people talking, and a lot of people seem to have liked it. It even has over 8.5 million views on YouTube.
Plenty have taken to Twitter to share their thoughts on the ad:
That VW ad makes me a) happy and b) want to go to Jamaica immediately. What it doesn’t do is make me want to buy a VW.#Superbowl
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 4, 2013
My favorite commercial last night was the VW ad where the office worker from Minnesota had a Jamaican accent. Thoughts?
— Kirk Cousins (@KirkCousins8) February 4, 2013
Jamaicans say VW’s Super Bowl ad isn’t racist; White Americans disagree twitchy.com/2013/02/03/jam…
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) February 4, 2013
Since the VW ad is RAACIST, does that mean we can’t sing UB40 songs anymore?
— Melissia (@ProudoftheUSA) February 4, 2013
They tried that VW ad with everybody doing Chinese accents but it seemed kind of racist. #FunFact
— Danny Zuker (@DannyZuker) February 4, 2013
Selfnote: Next time I launch a Superbowl Ad, make sure to make it “Racist” to get 5 million views like VW did, 24 hours before game!
— Jeremiah Owyang (@jowyang) February 2, 2013
Sean Paul — Big Up to VW Ad!! White Jamaican Guy is Funny, NOT Racist tmz.me/14yccKz
— TMZ (@TMZ) January 31, 2013
A wah mek dem Americans dem a cuss ova di #VW ad seh it racist? Dem nuh kno seh Jamaica ave all different type a people? out a many 1 people
— Dennis (@LePhantomMenace) February 4, 2013
Jamaican beer company even appears to be utilizing the buzz from the ad to serve promoted tweets on the Twitter search query “vw ad”:
Volkswagen itself tweeted a link to a press release from Minna Press, which says:
The new Volkswagen ad for the 2013 Super Bowl game garners a host of mixed reactions worldwide. “The ad shows a worker from Minnesota trying to cheer up co-workers in an accent often associated with Jamaicans, because he has been made so happy by his Volkswagen,” the Associated Press explains.
According to George Meikle, author of the book, In Praise of Jamaica, “the ad may be considered racist by some people … but us Germaicans say, “come to Jamaica and feel alright.” He states: “Volkswagen makes an astute observation that we Jamaicans radiate happiness no matter our circumstances, which is the point of the ad.”
Meikle adds, “we may speak funny but we can laugh at ourselves. Our book, In Praise of Jamaica tells the intriguing story about the wonders, heroes and achievements of Jamaicans.”
Volkswagen has a history of viral success. Many still recall the kid in the Darth Vader mask from previous years’ ads.