TAMPA, Fla. - The commercials are a big reason we watch the Super Bowl. But a new Super Bowl ad is causing controversy, and it's all over a fake accent.
Volkswagen has a new ad that's supposed to portray an office worker trying to cheer up his coworkers, and he's using a Jamaican accent to do it. The man is apparently happy because he owns a Volkswagen.
But, not everyone is sold on the concept. Marvin Lindo is Jamaican. He says he can see why people find it culturally insensitive. "They're selling a car. They're using the Jamaican accent. So you know, it's like 'wait a minute.' Is that really selling a car or making fun of somebody's accent."
Hal Vincent is the interim director of USF's Advertising program. He says in the world of advertising, there are always going to be critics, and because of this exposure, even more people will tune in. Vincent said, "No doubt about it, the talk value. The fact that people will now be watching and judging and basing opinions for themselves most certainly is going to increase the exposure."
Doctor Roxanne Watson was born and raised in Jamaica. She does not find the ad distasteful. She says it paints a picture of Jamaica as a fun-loving place. Doctor Watson said, "It kind of defines what a Jamaican personality is, which is generally relaxed and care-free."
Colleagues at Good Morning America tell ABC Action news Jamaica's top tourism official said people should get into their inner Jamaican and be happy and is even negotiating with Volkswagen for some type of co-branding.