Jaguar Really Needs an Arthur

April 11, 2011

Upon watching Tiger Woods in the final round of the Masters, in between the action there was a commercial for Rolex, Titlest, Acura cars, and oddly a promo for the new remake of Arthur.

Okay, admit it, you were giddy -- nay, dare I say excited -- when the recent remake of Arthur came out, with that simultaneously repulsive yet intriguingly bizarre Brit named Russell Brand, and with Helen Mirren. If you are from North America, you are probably thinking a) isn't Mirren a popular Japanese cooking wine? and b) do these two public figures adequately represent the best that the Brits have to offer?

And then a tangential thought occurred to me due to a lack of sleep. Jaguar is as British as it gets (if you overlook the foreign ownership for the last 25 years). They should be carrying the British flag, not Russell Brand. They are far more quintessentially British to me than he is, and at least on a par with Monty Python. They have produced some great cars over their history, and the latest trio of the XK, XF and XJ are really good-looking and fast and not Germanic, so it’s refreshing to say the least.

Why aren't they advertising in these highly visible events? Where are their commercials? Where is their YouTube channel? What do they need to do to get into the spotlight like Russell Brand?

Well, I decided to check out Jaguar's advertising footprint in the digital age and it came up pretty lacking. I scoured the web and found a few very good ads. And that was it. Sure, the commercials they have produced are really nice, very slick, and move Jaguar from an old brand to one where the modernity of their cars is really emphasized. This is no longer the Jaguar that the rich husband bought for a trip to the golf club or is a gift to the trophy wife. It’s not only about wood and leather, it’s also about brutal power and modern design and strong technology. (Even if the interior of the XJ is to die for.)

The ad for XF from a couple of years ago uses the Oasis tune The Shock of The Lightning beautifully to drive the commercial and set the pace. Great filming, great editing, great use of color and motion. And the one for the XJ also drives home a message of “the road not taken” for a company that was seen as stuck in a rut. It makes the message clear that Jaguar has changed. Even the Facebook movies for the wild XKR-S, the gloriously profligate speed wagon are well done and consistent with the other ads.

Problem is for Jaguar is there isn't much else to go on. Few new ads, their YouTube presence speak as much about their past if not more than future (the stunning C-X75 notwithstanding). Maybe they need to up their ad quotient, or star in a movie (doesn't have to be James Bond), but they need to produce more ads, get on the car-buying radar and show the world the best Britain (with help from India) has to offer.

Enjoy the ads.

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