Making its marque: Jaguar to try first brand ad campaign

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Jaguar Cars North America will launch a brand advertising campaign-the marque's first, Jaguar executives say-to accompany next spring's introduction of the redesigned flagship XJ sedan.

The campaign comes on the heels of Jaguar's first foray into purely retail advertising, this month's "London Calling" campaign for a model year-end sales event.

Because the brand campaign is more than six months away, Jaguar executives had few details of how the marketing will be done. But executives see the high-tech XJ as the focal point of showing Americans Jaguar's new image. "We are still considered a challenger brand, without the recognition of Mercedes-Benz and BMW," said Bob Dover, chief operating officer of Ford Motor Co.'s Aston Martin Jaguar Land Rover.

Mr. Dover said Jaguar's spending on the campaign, from WPP Group's Y&R Cos., Irvine, Calif., will not be limitless. "The key is how we get that brand awareness without spending a fortune like Lexus and Infiniti."

Jaguar has been well above average for several years in the J.D. Power quality matrices, but studies show consumer perception of the brand is still significantly lower than key competitors, Mr. Dover said.

bloodlines

While Jaguar wants to bring to light an image of high-tech prowess, it wants to show it has bloodlines the Japanese luxury brands do not.

"We want people to believe that Jaguar is something to aspire to," said Richard Beattie, exec VP-sales and marketing for Jaguar and Land Rover North America.

Mr. Rechtin is Los Angeles bureau chief for Automotive News

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