Friday, April 4, 2014

Good To Be Bad

I was going to write a serious post today, then took another look at the many inches of snow Minneapolis received last night and this morning and then thought, "Nah." So you have an April snowfall to thank for this post.

Jaguar has been one of my favorite automobiles for quite a while, despite the fact I don't drive. They are beautiful and classy and I appreciate their aesthetic. However, I also love their advertising campaigns, which is rare for any product of any sort. They began their success with me by using Benedict Cumberbatch as a spokesperson.

And this year for the Superbowl, they marketed their US line with Ben Kingsley, Mark Strong, and Tom Hiddleston, creating the idea that badass British super-villains drive Jags.

This is a brilliant marketing decision in my opinion because: A) Jaguar is pronounced differently in British English than in American English and honestly sounds better - it's the difference between the American "JAG-whar" and the British "JAG-ooh-are" (I don't study phonetics; I did my best), B) Using actors I adore to sell things is always a good move, C) Jaguars already have a sort of edge and appeal to them that make them perfect for this sort of depiction, and D) The message is if you drive this car, you can be a super-villain. Maybe with some help from Mr. Hiddleston.
Jaguar, I may not be exactly your target demographic (ie: I happen to not have a driver's license) but aside from that, I'm probably pretty close to what you're going for: people who like cleverness, cunning, and appreciate some good scheming and looking like a classy mo-fo while doing it. People who appreciate detail, who like stories with intrigue and probably watch Game of Thrones or House of Cards or both, people who love if the theme at the Academy Awards bounced of this year's idea of heroes and went with villains. People who appreciate the highs and lows of life, who probably won't be using their vehicles for nefarious things (but you'd better watch out if they ever did), and who appreciate the recognizing and expounding upon the trope of British actors playing villains.

It's just uncanny that a lot of these people also happen to belong to fandoms. And do I detect a little bit of Loki in that "Art of Villainy" ad? (Realm... I understood that reference).

So well done, Jaguar, you've outdone yourself in your marketing. However, as a sort-of consumer of yours (I'm an excellent passenger; every villain needs a sidekick, right?) I have a suggestion for a new commercial:
Night. Shot panning over London. Cut to Helen Mirren standing mysterious secluded street.
Mirren: It's often said that Brits make the best villains. It takes a certain panache and vitality to pull of such elaborate schemes and, with wit as sharp as our cheekbones, it's no wonder we own the demographic. But we can't let the boys have all the fun.

Several Jaguar cars pull up. Emma Watson, Judi Dench, and Freema Agyeman join her. Ad continues with this quartet doing totally badass things and sparring off with Kingsley's villain trio.
Regardless of what you do with your ads, Jaguar, it's likely I'm going to enjoy them. Bravo.


  1. Honestly just watched this ad because I found it on twitter, and I thought how long I haven't been on your blog, and voila! It's here also! Haha! I second your female-villains ad; it sounds awesome! (Maybe adding Karen Gillan would be awesome, too, now that she's going to play a villain on Guardians of the Galaxy!)

    1. You know, I was thinking of Karen Gillan after posting this; great thinking! :D