Never mind that recent commercial with three Jaguars playfully gliding through the countryside and turning doughnuts like baby versions of their namesake big cat, cavorting in the wild. Tata Group wants to get serious about reviving the venerable Jaguar brand so that it has a chance of gaining not only long-term feasibility but perhaps share in a U.S. luxury-auto market that seems to be on the upswing.
With that in mind, the brand is breaking in a substantial overhaul under the rubric "Alive," which includes not only a refreshed logo, but a new global advertising campaign launching this month. It's Jaguar's biggest branding campaign in seven years.
Jaguar could only embark on "Alive" after redoing the product line, which has left the marque with three fine models ranging in price from about $53,000 to about $138,000: the XF sports sedan, the XJ full-size luxury sedan, and the XK coupe and convertible.
As part of its global rebrand refresh, Jaguar has a new take on its corporate identification system and its "Leaper" and "Growler" logos. The Jaguar brand will have new corporate identification and a new font, created exclusively for the brand. "Our refreshed corporate image and the new global marketing campaign both underline the confidence we have in our existing products, and the vision we have for the future of the brand," stated Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar Global Brand Director.
“Jaguar is a brand at the beginning of a rebirth and a relaunch – it’s a critical moment in the history of this storied British brand," he added. "As part of a multi-year strategy to re-invigorate Jaguar cars globally, starting with a spectacular new line-up now in place, we have developed an all new brand positioning, effectively a brand reset. For too many luxury consumers, there is awareness of the Jaguar brand, but not consideration and modern relevance. Our ALIVE campaign is meant to differentiate Jaguar cars by underscoring its unique emotional character."
As the most extensive change Jaguar has made in 40 years, the campaign, created with Spark 44, the international communications agency that's part-owned by Jaguar Land Rover, will feature print, TV, digital and social advertising and a new look that contemporizes the aesthetics of the brand at every customer touchpoint.
A global TV commercial, called "Machines," tries to invoke an emotional connection with the viewer by positioning the Jaguar car "as alive as you are," featuring machinery such as an assembly line and a robot that once were meant to replace people. "There is one seductive, instinctive machine that's as alive as we are," the ad says. "Jaguar."
"It's always a big deal to touch something iconic, the image of the brand," David Pryor, brand vice president of Jaguar, told Marketing Daily. "Now product has clearly evolved. It's modern, the designs are bold. So the idea with the new campaign was, in part, getting the brand up to speed to match the product. That meant evolving core components of the brand to signify there's something new here."
The brand's new commercial just debuted on YouTube, Twitter (with a hashtag #feelalive) and on Facebook ahead of debuting them on TV in mid-March on U.S. national broadcast and cable networks. There also will be a Facebook video contest, Pryor said, "challenging people to express how a Jaguar makes them feel alive."
The press release notes,
The campaign’s primary message: Jaguar is ALIVE; it is a car not so much manufactured as created, and it is as alive as you are. Deliberately provocative, the campaign is designed to capitalize on the existing emotional pull of Jaguar's vehicles. It frames Jaguar as truly different from its competitors by positioning the brand as animate — seductive, emotional, unique, energetic and high-performance — while asking consumers, “How alive are you?” The campaign targets luxury consumers who are contemporary, sophisticated and daring, with a desire for authentic, independent brands. It also appeals to a more youthful audience, while not alienating its current demographic.
It's not that Jaguar sales were in the tank, by the way. February U.S. sales, reported today, were up by 48 percent from the year-earlier month. But at 1,022 units in the month, Jaguar sold almost exactly the number of units peddled by the Chevrolet Volt last month.
To build a permanently defensible position in the highly competitive U.S. upper-end luxury-car market, parent Jaguar Land Rover had to up its game, and Tata had to make a bigger long-term commitment to the key U.S. market.