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You have to admire the scrappiness of a small tourism board to jump on this high-profile platform to market themselves, come what may.
From the promo:
Tap into your inner Jamaican spirit with the island’s GET HAPPY IN JAMAICA FREE NIGHT OFFER*. At participating hotels across the island, visitors will receive an extra night free. Book either a 4th Night Free, 5th Night Free, or 6th Night Free package, and come experience why in Jamaica…Once You Go, You Know!
Jamaican musician Jimmy Cliff, whose recording of “Come On, Get Happy” serves as background music, asked people to focus on the song’s message via his Facebook page.
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
The commercial that sparked the controversy:
And the Jimmy Cliff song that served as the background: