Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, has endorsed the Volkswagen Super Bowl television commercial, which he says, is another example of brand Jamaica’s international appeal.
Dr. McNeill voiced his opinion while bringing greetings at the national ecumenical service marking Reggae Month 2013 on Sunday, February 3, at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts on Arthur Wint Drive.
He said despite the controversy the advertisement has sparked in some quarters, “it is a distinct acknowledgement of the global strength and appeal of our music, language, mannerisms and culture, which augers well for brand Jamaica.”
The commercial utilizes Jamaican dialect and a rendition of The Partridge Family’s theme song, ‘Get Happy’ sung by reggae icon, Jimmy Cliff.
Minister McNeill said he was pleased that the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) is taking hold of the opportunity presented by the commercial to reposition Jamaica internationally as the forerunner and pace setters of reggae music. “Reggae music and Jamaica are intrinsically linked,” he remarked.
Speaking to the JaRIA’s theme for Reggae Month ‘Reggae 50…A New Dawn’, the Entertainment Minister said Reggae 50 is about preparing for the years ahead and charting the course, which the industry will take to ensure growth and renewal.
He emphasised that the Ministry sees tourism and entertainment as an apt match, and that the Entertainment Division, the Entertainment Advisory Board, and other private and public sector stakeholders are working to ensure that all elements of the country’s creative sectors are developed and nurtured, through the implementation of appropriate policies and legislation.
This collaborative approach will ensure that the full economic benefits that have always come from the hearts and minds of the Jamaican people will accrue to our artistes so that this will achieve national growth,” he stated.