Spike Lee's Jaguar ads begin first test mailing

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Jaguar Cars North America will launch its first dedicated direct mailing to African-Americans in January. The luxury carmaker partnered with filmmaker Spike Lee's 40 Acres and a Mule Productions to create the piece. The first test mailing goes to 75,000 consumers.

Two months later, after results are analyzed, another wave will target 300,000 people, said Mike Sachs, relationship marketing manager at Jaguar. Another 300,000 units are planned in the subsequent two months.

Jaguar, owned by Ford Motor Co., plans to reach consumers between the ages of 35 and 54 with annual incomes of $75,000 or more and who drive competitive-make vehicles. Current Jaguar owners are not part of the mailing. The list was culled from about six sources, including Essence's database.


"We recognize the fact that the African-American target is a big market for us, but they don't really consider us, I think because the perception is we're too pricey," he said. In the past, Jaguar let its general market agency, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York, handle ads for African-American media such as BET, Essence and Black Enterprise. But Mr. Sachs said Mr. Lee has more expertise and a better understanding of the black community.

The mailing includes a lifestyle-oriented brochure and an eight-minute video for Jaguar that was released at the New York auto show in April. It shows a female African-American surgeon and sculptor husband preparing for a jaunt to Martha's Vineyard, Mass., from New York's Harlem in their Jaguar.


Mr. Sachs said O.M.'s research revealed African-Americans are more attentive to pieces that feature African-Americans. O.M.'s ads only showed Jaguar cars.

When Jaguar announced its partnership with Mr. Lee at the New York show, Mike O'Driscoll, president of Jaguar, said the marketer needed to appeal to a wider and more diverse audience. He said minority buyers account for between 5% and 10% of U.S. sales.

Jaguar is preparing for the launch of its smaller, more affordable X-type next year in its effort to double both U.S. and worldwide sales. Jaguar said it sold 39,493 cars in the U.S. through November 2000 vs. 30,093 for the same period a year ago. The auto marketer spent $33 million in measured media from January through August 2000, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

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