With Super Bowl 2013 ad fever already in high gear, Volkswagen released its “Get In. Get Happy.” commercial via Youtube two days ago, causing immediate scrutiny over whether or not the advertisement is racist or racially insensitive.
Attempting to show an extreme amount of happiness caused by the German auto company’s new Beetle, Dave — a White guy, spreads cheer with a terrible, but funny Caribbean/patois accent and sunny disposition.
Throughout the spot, a reggae version of The Partridge Family‘s “Come On Get Happy” plays in the background, adding to the laid-back, cheery vibe.
The advertisement has particularly irked New York Times columnist Charles Blow, who said, “I don’t like it at all. It’s like blackface with voices.”
Dare we forget how the Caribbean is a melting pot of cultures? Has Mr. Blow never run into at least one Asian or Caucasian-looking patois speaking person in New York City? I certainly have.
And don’t even get me started on calling every-damn-thing “blackface,” a term that includes vocal mockery, by the way. Once again, this word is being thrown around too lightly.
The commercial is dumb, but it’s not racist. If anything, I’m reminded that most of the things I freak out about, aren’t that serious.
It actually did make me happy today, though I have no intention of ever buying the advertised product. I could use a vacation though…