Volkswagen Super Bowl Ad: Jamaica's Tourism Minister Says It's Not Racist

Car company has no plans to pull ad from Sunday's game and says response has been "overwhelmingly positive"

By Rebecca Macatee Jan 30, 2013 11:26 PMTags

Jamaican tourism officials seem to feel all right about Volkswagen's Super Bowl commercial.

The somewhat controversial clip features white people inexplicably speaking in Jamaican accents as Jimmy Cliff's "C'mon, Get Happy" plays in the background. Some media critics were quick to slam the ad as racist, but tourism officials in the country say no worries!

Jamaica's Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Wykeham McNeill, told Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner he thinks "this is a very creative commercial which truly taps into the tremendous mass appeal that brand Jamaica and its hospitable people have globally."

And Volkswagen is standing by their work.

"The protagonist in the commercial is intentionally meant to portray an upbeat perspective and intelligence as he influences his coworkers to 'Get Happy,'" a spokesperson for the car company told E! News. "His Caribbean accent conveys a relaxed, cheerful demeanor while encouraging a positive attitude as the antidote to a tough Monday.  Many people can relate to being in an office environment and being ground down by the pressures of work—and 'Get Happy' brings an optimistic, bright spirit into an otherwise mundane day."

—Reporting by Marcus Mulick

Watch for yourself above, then sound off in the comments: Is Volkswagen's Super Bowl ad funny or faux pas?

And in honor of Sunday's game, take a look back at these 10 hot Super Bowl performances