Can Jaguar Exude Luxury … And Affordability?

Brand Rolls Out a New Campaign and Pricing Strategy

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Jaguar  Credit: Jaguar

Jaguar will make the largest commitment to TV advertising in its 93-year history to support a new pricing and product strategy aimed at positioning the luxury car brand as more affordable, executives of the British luxury brand said Thursday.

Few automotive brands can match Jaguar's heritage, but we must "firmly establish a modern view of the brand," said Kim McCullough, VP-marketing at Jaguar Land Rover, at a New York City event where executives detailed the new strategy. The brand, she added, must "regain the value part of our DNA."

A global TV campaign is still under development, but Ms. McCullough said the effort would build on the British "cheeky and confident tone" of recent ads. The agency is Spark44, a Jaguar Land Rover dedicated shop that is jointly owned by its management and Jaguar Land Rover.

The brand declined to reveal spending on the campaign but confirmed that Jaguar Land Rover will not advertise in the Super Bowl this season. Jaguar ran its first-ever Super Bowl ad in 2014, but sat out this year's game.

The new ads come as Jaguar transforms its line-up into a "family of five all-new or substantially refreshed 2016 and 2017 model year luxury vehicles," according to a statement. The goal is to position the brand at the pricing heart of the luxury market -- rather than as an outlier. "We will be reaching a far larger target audience that includes a significant number of affluent millennial customers," Ms. McCullough said.

A version of the redesigned XF midsize sedan will sell for $51,900, which is 9% less than a previous version, according to the brand. The XF will be supported by a global campaign taglined "Not Business as Usual" featuring a global TV ad. The insight is that the majority of XF buyers are executives or entrepreneurs who are "influencers," and "early adopters of technology." Ms. McCullough said.

Jaguar is also rolling out a sport sedan called the XE that is more downmarket and aimed at millennials, with a starting price of $34,900. The car will be promoted as part of a seven-city tour called "The Art of Performance Tour: Lights. Camera. Drive!" that has a goal of drawing at least 10,000 visitors. The effort will give potential buyers the chance to test-drive the XE.

The test-drives will have a "cinematic feel" meant to link to Jaguar's "long-standing relationship with movies," according to the brand. Consumers will get the chance to "star in their own filmed action sequence as they experience high-performance driving on a closed course and on-road handling through a street drive." Jaguar is hoping drivers share their personalized films on social media, drawing more exposure. In another movie-related publicity play, Jaguar cars will be featured in the upcoming James Bond film, "Spectre," executives said.

A digital campaign for the XJ full-size sedan will be called "Rare and Meant to Be," highlighting the vehicle's new enhanced interior, according to the brand. Across the portfolio, ads will plug "Jaguar EliteCare," a new maintenance program that Jaguar says offers a "best-in-class limited warranty" and the "longest complimentary scheduled maintenance package of any luxury car brand."

Overall, the new value strategy will result in Jaguar lowering the price of its cars between $1,500 and $3,000 by cutting base prices or increasing standard equipment, according to Automotive News, which quoted Joe Eberhardt, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover North America.

Jaguar sold 1,143 cars in the U.S. in August, down from 1,184 in the same month a year ago, according to Auto News. For the first eight months of the year the brand totaled 10,221 car sales in the states, compared with 10,688 in the same period last year.

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