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From Bevan Springer

New York Amsterdam News

NEW YORK (March 7, 2013) – The Jamaica Tourist Board scored a public relations coup following the popular Volkswagen Game Day “Get In, Get Happy” Super Bowl commercial airing.

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.

Grammy-winning Jamaican music great Jimmy Cliff’s song “C’Mon, Get Happy” from his album ‘Rebirth’ was featured in the commercial. Actor Erik Nicolaisen, appearing as Dave, wows viewers with a valiant attempt at the Jamaican accent and the Caribbean island’s patois.

“I chose to record the song that’s part of the Volkswagen Super Bowl campaign because it has a great message and it is something that people can apply to everyday life. I have traveled around the world many times, met all types of people and played in front of millions throughout my career. I have personally seen the positive effects of reggae music and Jamaican culture. I am a proud Jamaican and stand by this campaign, I feel like people need to focus on peace and unity. Blessed Love!” Jimmy Cliff told his fans on Facebook.

For the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), despite the debate of whether or not it was insulting for a Caucasian male to mimic the Jamaican accent, this was a PR dream come true.

For the 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.

And, they moved quickly to capitalize on the free exposure and launched a “Get Happy in Jamaica” destination-wide package for visitors to enjoy savings through the spring, teaming up with 20 participating hotel properties.

Meanwhile Jimmy Cliff and and actor Nicolaisen were recently honored at a cocktail reception at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.

Hosted by the Minister of Tourism and Entertainment Dr. Wykeham McNeill and Jamaica’s Director of Tourism John Lynch, the special guests included members of the tourism industry, business community and media.

Jimmy Cliff was praised for his stellar career, including his recent Grammy win for “Best Reggae Album ‘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 Board to experience the destination first hand.

VW Actor

CAPTION: Director of Tourism John Lynch (left) honors the star of Volkswagen’s Super Bowl commercial Erik Nicolaisen (right) with a “Beautiful Jamaica” destination book.

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