Jaguar has a special place in my heart, but I feel it has been consistently mismanaged as a brand for many years--always struggling to find a narrative that is relevant to a younger American audience without reverting to English snob appeal. I think the latest "British Villains" campaign really hits the right balance. The new campaign emphasizes the Britishness of the brand heritage, as well as the sexiness and muscle in the latest products, all the while not taking itself too seriously. This mix of humor and suave cool are a winning combination, and I hope it really helps get Americans excited about Jaguar. Interestingly they are not running this campaign in England, according to my UK friends, who had no idea what I was talking about when I mentioned these ads in conversation.
Entries in advertising (10)
This film--i am thinking probably shown in movie theaters before the main attraction--is from c. 1966, showing el maestro lapping Monza in his 1951 Alfetta 159. Some wonderful sounds and footage. Gotta love his shiny leather driving shoes when he steps out of the monoposto at the end!
On a recent trip to Hong Kong, I spent a lot of time looking at luxury ads. They are a pervasive presence in this city, which has an obsession with luxury consumption. Since I run my own brand, I am always studying what other companies are doing to project their image. As a car lover, I always take particular notice when cars are employed in fashion shoots.
There is one common use of cars that I simply abhor, and it's about time someone said something! I hate ads where a guy or girl is sitting on the hood of a classic car, often with their feet on the bumper! I suppose this is meant to imbue the model with a casual "Oh this old heap? Yeah I like to cruise around in it" attitude. But let's be honest here, no one EVER sits on the hood of a car they actually own. I can only imagine the hood of that poor MGA above bears the model's ass prints in its flimsy steel. And that E-type below surely needed some help after that smug-looking douche alighted from the weakest spot in the hood.
So why do I hate these ads so much? Becuase they are so unnatural, and display a contrived behavior that doesn't exist in real life. Imagine if you walked the lawn at a car show, and saw each owner sitting on the hood of his car posing for photos! That would be absolute lunacy. And the fact that it doesn't exist in real life just magnifies how out of touch the creative directors --most of whom probably don't own a car and couldn't even tell you the name of the car in the ad-- are, and therefore how little credibility the brand has to actual car aficionados despite their use of a car in the ad. It just rings incredibly hollow, and makes the use of the car all the more superficial.
You'll never see this BS in any Autodromo campaign, I promise you.
I always love to see American car companies get things right for a change, and anyone watching a lot of Olympics coverage on NBC will have for sure seen the new campaign that Cadillac has done promote the new ATS. The "Cadillac ATS vs. the World" website is well worth a visit. Their crew visited 4 very different and fascinating locations around the globe to film commercials --each chosen to demonstrate a particular characteristic of the ATS. My personal favorite is the Morocco video, which shows the ATS assaulting a snaking canyon road that looks to be one of the coolest driving roads I have ever seen! The totally crazy Chinese tunnel road is something to behold as well. This unpaved road is literally carved out of a mountain, and its stone surface shows off the magnetic suspension of the ATS beautifully. I was very excited for their visit to Monaco, but any serious car nut will be let down a little by that video. Skip the Patagonia video. It's lame.
There are lots of reasons I happen to love this campaign. First, the title is a clever play on the old Cadillac slogan "Standard of the World." Second, it ties in with the global nature of the Olympics subconsciously yet has nothing to do with the Olympics. Watch BMW's awful Olympics campaign to see how painful that can be! Third, director Jeff Zwart is a true blue car enthusiast (he produced the marvelous book Porsche Rennsport that is one of my favorites in my collection) and that comes through a lot in the filming and editing of these pieces. The commercials are truly enthusiast-oriented and engaging to watch. Also, the locations chosen are not the typical famous places like the Nurburgring or the canyon roads of the American West, so frequently used in commercials. Even Monaco, though it is a famous place, is an unlikely location to shoot a commercial for an American sports sedan. So kudos to Zwart for also making do with what I am sure were very challenging location shoots! Last, the driver in these commercials is actually Derek Hill, son of F1 champion Phil Hill! I thought that was kind of a cool touch. The only let-down in this campaign is the sort of sophomoric narration by the non-driving co-host, who makes reference to "hanging with the natives and seeing how they live" in each location. Honestly, who gives a crap? Female Olympics viewers maybe...but we can't have everything, can we? Overall, I think this might be one of the best new car commercial campaigns I have seen in a long time. It really shows off what the car can do, and speaks to a casual and enthusiast crowd in equal measure. It also shows me some remarkable places I have never ever seen before. Well done! I still won't buy an ATS, but I think many people just might go and test drive one thanks to these ads.
Note: This review was in no way solicited or paid for by GM, just in case you were wondering.