Y&R to break Jag ads

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Y&R Advertising's first work for Jaguar Cars North America--a brand campaign--is set to break in a few weeks.

The WPP Group agency in recent months pitched and won Jaguar Cars Ltd.'s estimated $125 million global account, as reported first by Advertising Age (AA, Feb. 5). Incumbents were sibling WPP agencies Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and J. Walter Thompson, which have managed the global account under the three-year-old Global Communications Group, or GCG. As of mid-day March 9, Jaguar hadn't announced a formal shift of the account. Michelle Cervantez, VP-marketing at Jaguar, confirmed Y&R, New York, handled the U.S.-only TV and print brand campaign that will run through June. But she described the work as a "project" only. Each of the three TV brand commercials shows an individual car: the S-Type, XJR super-charged sedan and XKR high-performance coupe, she said.

Jaguar, owned by Ford Motor Co., wants to change consumers' perceptions of the brand. The brand's research shows there is a misconception that Jaguars cost more than they actually do, Ms. Cervantez said. "We are viewed as being stuffy and aloof. We want people to think of us in a somewhat warmer way than they do."

PREPARING FOR X-TYPE

The brand will use the campaign to pave the way for the launch of the all-new X-Type sedan, due to go on sale in late July. With a suggested retail price of $29,950, the car will be Jaguar's cheapest to date. The car is aimed at buyers younger than most current Jaguar owners, who typically are male and middle-aged.

Y&R will handle the launch of the X-Type, said Jake Weidinger, a Jaguar dealer on the carmaker's marketing committee. Brian Allan, another dealer on the panel, said the X-Type will be teased in TV spots that only show parts of the car. The spots will end with the tagline: "X-Type. The New Jaguar."

Mr. Allan, who saw the presentations from Y&R and O&M, said he expects the brand campaign to show younger consumers in "a cyber cafe, not on the golf course" and "on a nature hike, not on a golf course." According to Mr. Allan, "the whole idea is to take the stuffiness out of Jaguar's image."

Jaguar expects the new model to help it reach U.S. sales of 50,000 units this year. The brand sold 43,728 cars in 2000, a 24.8% jump from 1999, according to Automotive News. The marketer spent $42 million in U.S. measured media in the first 11 months of 2000, says Competitive Media Reporting.

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