“The story started in the height of the recession when Tata Motors made a big bet on us and acquired Jaguar and Land Rover,” Jeff Curry, Brand VP of Jaguar North America, explained. Tata Motors acquired Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford in 2008 for $2.3 billion. “That investment has paid off. The secret of Jaguar and Land Rover is that we are allowed to be who we are.” Tata left the car maker’s design and manufacturing structures in the UK and immediately began investing billions in research, development and updating the company’s technology.
The result was a re-tooled brand that, to many, made its debut during the 2014 Superbowl. At an IMPA (International Motor Press Association) luncheon in New York City the topic was the growth of the Jaguar brand and Jaguar’s first ever-Super Bowl commercial.
The Super Bowl ad (#goodtobebad) featured super villain actor’s Sir Ben Kingsley, Mark Strong and Tom Hiddleston of Thor. The plot concerns some kind of secret assignation and a race between a helicopter and the new Jaguar F-Type coupe through the streets of London and over Buckingham Palace to Kingsley’s country estate. The spoken message included toss-off phrases like: Brits keep a stiff upper lip; we are obsessed by power and always precise. Ditto. The new Jaguar.
The ad, by the way, was top ranked on NFL.com. Not bad for a first time show at the Super Bowl.
After the visual presentation at IMPA, David Kiley, President of IMPA asked Curry, “Who is your audience?”
Jaguar On Your Mind
Curry answered: “The mindset is authentic. People who see their world in a very different way: they are inwardly confident.”
Kate McLeod, an automotive journalist queried, “How can you justify the expense of advertising your premium brand in such an expensive venue that is primarily Dorito driven viewers?”
Curry agreed that while the audience isn’t exactly premium, shopping on the Jaguar site was up 400% after the Super Bowl. “We believe that it helps in terms of cultural awareness. Metrics show that Super Bowl ads are a good place to spend money.”
He conceded, “This is a long term play. It works to get people to get Jaguar on their minds.”
I asked him what their playground was in terms of advertising on TV and online. Curry answered that Jaguar is looking into online viewing and focusing on shows that hit their target audience. That includes popular Netflix shows including House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.
Curry feels that Britain and everything British is hotter than ever.
Let’s start with miniseries Downton Abbey, our obsession with Kate, Will and the baby, Burberry, Kate Moss, Adele… shall I go on?
In other words, it’s hip to be British.
As Curry concluded, “It’s an important moment to claim our space.”