The internet is buzzing with the Volkswagen “Get Happy” ad intended to run during the Super Bowl–you know when all the other funniest commercials of the year see the light of day.
Check Out The Commercial Here:
If you watched it and found the humor, good for you. Some of #TeamBeautiful did too. But many folks are claiming that this commercial is racist and offensive. New York Times writer Charles Blow called it “blackface with voices” while others claimed “Black people are happy.” Wait. What?
The folks at VW did their research, claiming to have spoken with 100 Jamaicans as research for the commercial. We wonder if it will see the light of day? VW Marketing Officer, Tim Mahoney has a backup plan if this commercial ends up getting pulled.
VW Released This Statement:
“The concept of Volkswagen’s ‘Get Happy’ advertisement is to put a smile on your face, and continues to build upon the heritage of ‘human stories, told simply.’ The protagonist in the commercial is intentionally meant to portray an upbeat perspective and intelligence as he influences his coworkers to ‘Get Happy.’ His accent is intended to convey a relaxed, cheerful demeanor while encouraging a positive attitude as the antidote to a tough Monday. Everyone can relate to being in an office and being ground down by the pressures of work and ‘Get Happy’ brings an optimistic, bright spirit into an otherwise.”
#TeamBeautiful couldn’t just let this ride out. Pun intended. We just had to sound off!
Racist. C’mon now. I found this commercial to be quite hilarious. I literally laughed out loud. But racism, nope! My question would be, why did the German carmaker spend reportedly 8 million bucks for airtime on a commercial most people won’t understand. They went as far as consulting with 100 Jamaicans and a speech coach to ensure that Dave from Minnesota sounded like he was truly from the islands.
Meanwhile, viewers will be left puzzled with an eye brow raised as to why this white man has a strong Jamaican accent and drives a red Buggie. Is Volkswagen the mascot of Jamaica? What exactly am I missing in the joke?
Volkswagen says it’s ‘Get Happy’ concept is intended to “put a smile on your face” and “build upon human stories”. I still don’t quite get it. I tried really hard too. Watched the video three times… nope still doesn’t click for me. But a Jamaican white man named Dave from Minnesota is surely enough to put a smile on my face.