Men's clothing brand Jacamo and former England captain Matt Dawson have come under fire for making a mockery of the Haka, a Maori war dance adopted by the All Blacks rugby team.
Combining the All Black’s Haka and 1994 hit and dancefloor staple the Macarena in the video for Jacamo, Dawson claimed he was reclaiming the All Blacks “secret weapon” which is “used to intimidate [opposing teams]".
Although All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu this morning in a press conference said it was “quite funny seeing [Dawson] doing it,” the ad sparked backlash in New Zealand, especially among Maori circles.
Maori Party co-leader Sir Pita Sharples condemned the attempt at humour, claiming: “The Haka is done as a way of honouring the enemy. You do it if you’re up for a challenge.
“By doing the Haka as the All Blacks do, it’s recognising the worth of the other side. So if they’re doing something to mock the Haka, then that’s pretty shameful.”
However, Jon White, managing director of brand design agency Elmwood, questioned the fuss being made, telling The Drum: "It's fun, it makes you smile and best of all it makes more people talk about and enjoy rugby and what it stands for.
"Matt Dawson, more than most, has the right to lead this latest piece of banter. He's a World Cup winner, a veteran of games all over the world. He's surely been on the wrong end of friendly banter, or probably worse, as he travelled through his sporting career?
"Rugby is a sport that thrives on the ideal of all comers, friendship and joviality. Banter is at the core of what makes it tick.
Jacomo also denied the slot was offensive, claiming the brand was just “having a bit of a giggle” while pay homage to reigning champions, the All Blacks.