February 26, 2013
Entertainment fraternity voices concerns - over new 'Jamaica' ad done by Saturn Electronics
CURTIS CAMPBELL, STAR Writer
Brand Jamaica is again at the centre of another controversial international ad, as another German company, Saturn Electronics, has made a new ad.
Again some Jamaicans have raised eyebrows, citing that the ad shows a lack of respect for the Jamaican flag.
The opening scene of the ad was set in a small coffee shop with two Caucasian males attempting to make coffee. A slight accident occurs which starts a fire on the shirt sleeve of one of the males. He then flashes his hand in an attempt to put out the blaze, but ended up spreading the fire to a large Jamaican flag which was hanging on the kitchen wall.
Both men seemingly frightened at the burning flag, brought it outside where they repeatedly stomped on it on the sidewalk in an attempt to put out the fire.
The act was caught on camera and the footage prompted a massive demonstration with thousands of people converging on the scene with huge Jamaican flags, as many assumed that the men stomping on the Jamaican flag were disrespectful.
The ad climaxed with some protesters chanting 'we love Jamaica', while there was the unfurling of a huge Jamaican flag from the top of a skyscraper building, as a response to the small flag which was damaged by fire.
Some may see this ad as a reflection of the huge influence that Jamaica has in Europe. However, lecturer at the University of the West Indies (Mona) and cultural analyst, Dr Donna Hope-Marquis, says she will not accept the destruction of Jamaica's national symbols by international companies to sell products.
"I love my German friends. But no matter how anyone tries to spin it, the burning of my country's flag and stomping on it in any form is an attack against my nationalism. Tell Saturn to go and burn an American flag or a British flag and see how it would work out," Dr Hope-Marquis said.
According to the cultural analyst, the ad should be revoked.
disrespectful and offensive
"This disrespectful and offensive ad should be revoked with immediate effect. And to those who see it as a great plug for Jamaica..., wi nuh need nuh baddy fi promote Jamaica ... Wi dun large a yaad and abroad. Hop offa Ja fenda," she wrote on her Facebook page.
Dr Hope-Marquis believes Jamaicans should be more territorial about their national symbols, in order to prevent outsiders from exploiting them for personal benefits.
Comedian Rohan Gunter recently told The STAR that he had no problem with the controversial Volkswagen commercial. He continues to sing a similar tune.
"Jamaica is now on a high worldwide. Bob Marley and the Grammy tribute, Usain Bolt at the NBA Celebrity All-Star game and the VW controversial and creative ad. Saturn is now riding the horse for what it's worth because controversy sells," he said.
Gunter says Jamaicans should simply learn to live in peace with each other. "The Jamaican people, although little on the map, we are a big name on the world stage and this only adds to that. The Government needs to cash in on the prize and stop being blind to the bigger picture. Stealing millions of dollars and murdering people is worse than burning a flag. Fix these issues and then I will have a problem with somebody burning the flag of my beloved country in the name of art," he said.
The Saturn coffee shop commercial now has over 500,000 views on YouTube.com. However, based on the comments relating the images of the burning flag some YouTubers are less than impressed. The ad also featured Barrington Levy's single Murderer as the sound track.
In an article posted on http://oonuyard.com, Barrington Levy said although he gave the company permission to use his song, he is outraged at the burning of the Jamaican flag.
The website quoted Levy as saying, "They got permission to use my song, they didn't say what they were going to do with my song but if they did say they were going to use my song to burn my country flag that would be a total disrespect to my thing and my country and my people, not only burning it but trampling it like that is a total disrespect."