BY BRIAN BONITTO Associate Editor — Auto and Entertainment firstname.lastname@example.org
VOLKSWAGEN is adding some Jamaican star power to its latest global marketing campaign.
The German automaker has a commercial featuring reggae icon Jimmy Cliff which is set to air during Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday.
Cliff, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame musician and star of the 1972 cult film classic The Harder They Come, performs a cover of The Partridge Family’s C’mon, Get Happy.
The commercial lasts one minute, 40 seconds.
The Super Bowl ads are the most watched in the United States for the year with advertisers paying as much as US$3.5 million for a 30-second spot.
“It’s just fantastic,” said Stephen Hector — global PR director for Sandals Resort International/ATL Group, which distributes Volkswagen in Jamaica through its ATL Automotive dealership.
“It is a great opportunity for Jamaica, Jimmy Cliff, and the Volkswagen brand,” he continued.
The global PR director said given Super Bowl’s wide television appeal, over 90 million people could see the commercial.
“The magnitude of using a Jamaican artiste is absolutely unbelievable as what it does for brand Jamaica is huge. It also evokes national pride as well,” he told Jamaica Observer.
Cliff, 64 — the only living Jamaican musician to hold the Order of Merit — is experiencing a career comeback. His latest album Rebirth, was given the thumbs-up by major American publications like Rolling Stone magazine.
Rebirth reached number 83 on the British national chart and peaked at number 76 in the United States.
Hector said the commercials are part of VW’s thrust to become the largest auto manufacturer in the world.
In addition to Volkswagen, ATL Automotive — local distributors of Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, Range Rover, and Honda brands — are keeping with this vision.
The company is applying the final touches to a newly constructed, state-of-the-art Volkswagen showroom on Oxford Road in New Kingston, St Andrew, scheduled for unveiling on February 18.