30/01/2013 10:41 GMT | Updated 30/01/2013 10:59 GMT

Is This Volkswagen Super Bowl Advert Funny - Or Racist? (VIDEO)

Marketing and media commentators have called it "horrific" and "offensive" - while New York Times columnist Charles Blow says "it's like blackface with voices".

So is the new Volkswagen advert - due to be aired during that most lucrative (and expensive) of all advertising slots, this Sunday's Super Bowl - really as offensive as some are saying?

The commercial 'Get In. Get Happy' shows a white office worker from Minnesota who goes around his day to day life, talking like a Jamaican. The essential gag being: it's funny to hear a white man talk like a black man.

Or is it? Click play on the video above to watch it, then let us know what you think...

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Erik Nicolaisen, the actor who stars in the advert, has defended it, saying that "people are entitled to their own opinion" - and pointing out that his brother-in-law, who is from Kingston, Jamaica, "loves it".

It's also been defended, unsurprisingly, by Volkswagen's chief product and marketing officer Tim Mahoney. "We actually talked to about 100 Jamaicans in the research and we had a speech coach on site to make sure it was authentic as possible," he said. "For me, it's a great mash up."

Watch Mahoney discussing the controversy on CNN below: