It might be true that British luxury car maker, Jaguar, is a smaller contender in the larger automotive world. That’s not to say the company is unknown in the States, but only that it is considered a lightweight contestant amongst heavyweights like Mercedes, Audi and BMW.
With a little help from their new social media campaign, that could change. With a lot of help from their ad firm, Jaguar is looking to acknowledge their underdog status and use it to their advantage. The opening salvo in the new ad war was Jaguar’s Super Bowl commercial.
The sixty-second spot, titled “Rendez-Vous”, featured three British actors renowned for portraying villainous characters on the big screen. The angle is that Brits are often cast as the bad guys in Hollywood movies. Not thugs necessarily, but sophisticated, wealthy, stylish ne’er do wells. Jaguar is seeking to capitalize that in a tongue-in-cheek way and having an Academy Award winning actor like Sir Ben Kingsley never hurts, villain or not.
The commercial was just the launching point for Jaguar’s “good to be bad” campaign. Like any competitive company in any market across industries, social media is key and is being well integrated into the overall strategy. Jaguar has a presence in social media to be sure. Google Plus, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are all being employed by Jaguar to get the message out. And of course, they’re on Facebook with one million plus “likes”.
The campaign was designed to promote the Jaguar F-Type Coupe which is being cast as the main villain in this scenario. Is it risky to cast your product as villainous? That remains to be seen. Jaguar is betting that the tie-in to Hollywood will conjure up images more of James Bond villains than kneecap-breaking thugs and that audiences will connect with the glamour and style and not a life of crime. The F-Type Coupe is certainly a sleek and stylish luxury automobile that may appeal to those who want to cultivate a bad boy or bad girl persona.
With Twitter being a major center of focus for Super Bowl advertisers in 2014 —a trend that should continue at least in the next several years—the hashtag #goodtobebad has been secured by Jaguar to further establish the campaign in the public’s mind. There were a record number of retweets about Super Bowl ads this year and with 57 percent of the ads shown during the game containing hashtags, the fact is Twitter holds sway over advertisers.
The 20,000 hits to Jaguar’s website after the commercial aired proves the results. In keeping with the villainous theme, Jaguar had a social media team standing by ready to not only defend its own position, but to playfully counter their competitors, at one point even taking a jab at Maserati’s new Ghibli by implying the car was full of hot air. This could at the very least be an entertaining media war.