Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer
Jerked chicken, jerked pork and a cold Guinness were enough to satisfy Erik Nicolaisen's soul, and his yearning for anything Jamaican.
Three weeks after the VW Super Bowl advert actor shot to fame, Nicolaisen, aka, 'Respec, Boss Man' has landed on Jamaican soil.
His first authentic Jamaican experience - Scotichie's Jerk Centre, Rose Hall, Montego Bay.
Nicolaisen, who arrived at the Sangster International Airport with his Jamaican dreadlocked brother-in-law, Robert Murphy, was met by Minister of Tourism Dr Wykeham McNeill, Director of Tourism John Lynch, deputy director Sandra Scott and regional director Rosemarie Johnson.
Acknowledging that the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) was riding on the success the advert had garnered for the country, Minister McNeill said the actor's services had been secured by the JTB, and he was being used in a series of promotional activities on the island.
"I think that the association with Jamaica is going to be a good one and that it can go a long way in promoting Jamaica, both here and abroad," stated the tourism minister.
The JTB has planned quite an extensive programme focusing basically on new media: Twitter and Facebook, and is currently looking at ways to work with VW, especially in the United States, said Director of Tourism John Lynch.
"This is (Nicolaisen's trip) a cooperation between both agencies, our PR agency and VW's PR agency," said Lynch.
Describing the project as a good fit, the tourism director said apart from Nicolaisen's working visit, the JTB in collaboration with some 24 hotels on the island had launched the 'Jamaica Mi Happy' vacation package.
For the man who plays Dave in the advert, the experience and association with Brand Jamaica has been overwhelming.
"I'm so overwhelmed with this whole experience ... it's been a crazy three weeks ... you know this is a commercial and from my world as an actor, it's not necessarily high art, but, what a lovely spot to be able to represent a culture that I appreciate and I have come to understand as a fan of reggae music; and as kind of a student of Jamaica since I was a little kid. What a cool opportunity, and I would just try to embrace it," he says.
Like much of the world, Erik Nicolaisen's primary relationship with Jamaica started through reggae music.
"When I was nine or 10, my older cousin gave me a mixed tape of Yellowman, Burning Spear, Eek-a-mouse, Pato Baton, Jacob Miller, Culture, Steel Pulse, Shinehead, Peter Tosh - that was the beginning of my obsession with the music," he told The Gleaner.