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Jamaica scores big with ad

Bevan Springer | 3/8/2013, 12:04 p.m.
NEW YORK (March 7)--The Jamaica Tourist Board scored a public relations coup following the airing...
Jamaica scores big with ad

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Jamaica's Butch Stewart picks Almond in Barbados

NEW YORK (March 7)--The Jamaica Tourist Board scored a public relations coup following the airing of the popular Volkswagen "Get in, Get Happy" Super Bowl commercial.

The commercial features an office worker from the American Midwest sharing his happy disposition--in a Jamaican accent--with his co-workers after driving a VW.

The commercial featured Jimmy Cliff's song "C'mon, Get Happy," from his Grammy Award-winning album "Rebirth," Actor Erik Nicolaisen wowed viewers with a valiant attempt at the Jamaican accent and the Caribbean island's patois.

For the Jamaica Tourist Board, despite the debate of whether it was insulting for a Caucasian male to mimic the Jamaican accent, this was a PR dream come true. For tourism professionals, the commercial was a bonanza because the German automaker spent millions to produce, and air, images of the carefree Jamaican and Caribbean spirit. Tourism professionals moved quickly to capitalize on the free exposure and teamed up with 20 participating hotel properties to launch a "Get Happy in Jamaica" destination-wide package for visitors to enjoy savings through the spring.

Meanwhile, Cliff and Nicolaisen were recently honored at a cocktail reception at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston. Hosted by Minister of Tourism and Entertainment Dr. Wykeham McNeill and Director of Tourism John Lynch, the event included special guests such as members of the tourism industry, business community and media. Cliff was praised for his stellar career, including his recent Grammy win for Best Reggae Album for 'Rebirth.'" Nicolaisen was recognized for his role in providing significant, positive exposure to the destination. Nicolaisen, along with his Jamaican brother-in-law Robert Murphy, were in Jamaica as guests of the Tourist Board to experience the destination firsthand.