A Volkswagen ad has sparked accusations of cultural insensitivity since a preview of the ad was released online on Jan. 28. Volkswagen released a statement responding to allegations that its Super Bowl ad, in which a white guy from Minnesota adopts a Jamaican accent and irie attitude after getting a Beetle, is racist, according to Business Insider.
Tim Mahoney, CMO at Volkswagen of America, told The New York Times: “We didn’t go in saying, ‘Could there be a backlash?’” because testing showed that the ad conveyed “the message we want to deliver, that this is a brand that can put a smile on your face.'
He added: “I’m pretty pleased that within 24 hours we had 1.1 million people watch the spot” on YouTube. At press time, that figure had grown to more than 3.3 million, and despite the criticism, Mahoney said, reactions have been “overwhelmingly positive.”
Do you think this Volkswagen's Super Bowl ad is, in any way, racist?