JAMAICA is capitalising on the incredible publicity being generated by Volkswagen's new Super Bowl 2013 commercial which features an office worker in the United States speaking with a Jamaican accent.
According to the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), to ensure conversations continued amidst the buzz that surrounded the VW spot, they began talks with Volkswagen and the media, including USA Today and the Associated Press, to confirm that the island was supportive of the advertisement. With more than five million views on YouTube, VW's commercial placed Jamaica positively into the spotlight.
Dr Wykeham McNeill, minister of tourism and entertainment, in endorsing the campaign, was interviewed by USA Today, which reaches more than 1.7 million readers. Additionally, The Associated Press quoted Minister McNeill in an article that syndicated to over 190 million readers.
"The interest this commercial has generated is incredible and speaks to the power of the Jamaica brand," said John Lynch, director of tourism at the Jamaica Tourist Board. "We hope this sparks an interest in persons who have not yet experienced the destination to come visit; enjoy a memorable Jamaican vacation, our people and most important, Get Happy in Jamaica."
The JTB added that it also worked with US media as well as the important travel trade, with Lynch speaking to leading travel industry players assuring them that Jamaica welcomed the additional visibility from the Volkswagen commercial.
Additionally, the JTB partnered with the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) to launch a destination-wide deal, "Get Happy in Jamaica", featuring free nights at 20 participating hotels. The destination-wide promotion was launched via proactive media outreach and social media efforts. The tourist board also launched digital initiatives to engage with the Facebook, Twitter, and photo and video sharing communities to make certain online conversations continued.
"[The year] 2013 has started positively for Jamaica," said Lynch. "We were thrilled to be able to take advantage of the publicity the VW commercial gave to the island. It's not every day that companies spend millions on a single commercial. They did a fine job, and we're honoured they thought of Jamaica when developing the creative concept. We look forward to a working relationship with them in the future," Lynch said.
The 60-second VW advertisement, which serves as a thematic continuation of the car makers "feel-good" messaging, was launched on VW's website website and via YouTube ahead of the Super Bowl, ensuring a publicity lead on the competition. Super Bowl is notably not only about the game, but also about the flashy multimillion-dollar commercials.