That Funny VW Ad
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this ad. NY Times's Charles Blow weighed in on the Jamaican accent with charges of racism and “Blackface with voices.” This was countered on CNN by Roland Martin, Erin Burnett and Reihan Salam who disagreed and cited the island’s racial demographics.
I thought it was hilarious that Erin Burnett was left speechless for a few minutes, and blurted out that Roland Martin and Reihan Salam were “men of color.”
Finally, members of the Jamaican government came to VW’s rescue by saying that the ad wasn’tracist. For my Jamaican challenged readers of the American persuasion, that’s like Republicans and Democrats agreeing on motherhood and apple pie.
All I can say that I was not offended by the VW ad. When I first saw the ad, I laughed my ass off. When I watched it again, I realized it was a very smart ad. Very smart. Through the images and dialogue, it equated the pinnacle of happiness with being Jamaican.
And who can argue with that?
Then, using the only metaphor that Americans can equate with being happy (other than being a Jamaican or trying to talk like one) the ad makers substituted driving a VW. It's the next best thing.
Happiness is being Jamaican
Jamaicans (or fake ones) drive VWs
Happiness is driving a VW
BTW, even the great Bob Marley who sang, “I’m a happy inside all, all of the time,” in "Satisfy my Soul,” drove a VW.
It’s the happiness bug.