Jaguar Aims to Make $60K Buying Decision Easy

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As the new Jaguar XJ luxury sedan goes on sale next week, an ongoing direct marketing effort from Ford Motor Co.'s Jaguar Cars ratchets up to convince prospects that the redesigned car is worth the $60,000 investment.


The campaign builds on the interest generated in the five-month pre-launch run-up that garnered nearly 20,000 leads for a Jaguar containing few genes from its six predecessors.


"As the new flagship, the new XJ will bring a sense of modernity and substance to address limiting brand perceptions," said Jeff Browe, vice president and management supervisor at Wunderman's Irvine, CA, office, the direct agency on the account.


Marketing will communicate something unheard of for a Jaguar -- a lightweight aluminum body instead of steel -- and address a longtime concern, perception of quality.


Confident that its message is working, Jaguar will layer the pre-launch positioning -- "Stronger. Faster. Safer. Smarter." -- with the "Born to Perform" tagline.


To cap the pre-launch activities, a launch mailing targeting existing Jaguar owners, hand-raisers and acquisition prospects hits homes next week. The mailing leverages reviews and third-party accolades for the car.


Direct response print ads with business reply cards in June editions of automotive and lifestyle magazines look to build further momentum and generate leads. Ads urge readers to respond for a special "XJ" edition of Automobile magazine with the car's story.


An extensive out-of-home campaign including kiosks and billboards is designed to build awareness and drive traffic to thenewxj.com/us site.


Online, Jaguar interactive agency Global Beach Group, London, is using banners that link to the campaign's nerve center, thenewxj.com.


For example, Eyeblasters will run on Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com and CBS SportsLine. A six- to eight-second interstitial will load on CBS Market Watch's home page. Regular banners will run on The Wall Street Journal's wsj.com and CBS Market Watch.


Expandable banners and Eyewonder ads will show video in a banner. Several sponsorships have been taken on the editorial pages of automotive Web sites.


There are no plans to dispatch e-mails to a rented list. But hand-raisers at thenewxj.com will get a re-contact e-mail that combines with the monthly newsletter. This June newsletter of "Jaguar in Form" goes to more than 220,000 consumers registered last year on Jaguar sites as well as 20,000 XJ hand-raisers. It will have four articles on the XJ.


Jaguar's thenewxj.com has a crucial role in sustaining consumer interest in its new flagship. The site generated roughly 10,000 e-mail leads, or half of the leads overall. The rest came from business reply cards, auto shows, events and brochure requests.


Starting in April, leads generated from the site were sent to Jaguar dealers nationwide for individual follow-up.


"The principal idea is to lower the cost of customer contact and increase frequency and relevancy," said Dan Northover, London-based executive creative director at Global Beach.


The XJ site's execution was unique. Offering an auto-show-like experience online was the intent. Audio and video play a big role as the car appears in various angles against a black background.


"As the medium evolves, it does allow us to use more than traditional JPEGs and text," Northover said, "and for the first time we've laid creative built for online on a DVD, and that's to be used at auto shows and retail events and so on."


A preview of the vehicle was released online in January. Visitors were asked to register for updates. An innovation section on the car's new technology followed in February. In April, a details section debuted, covering craftsmanship and safety information. The intent was to entice visitors to test drive the XJ.


Finally, in May, the performance section kicked off. The site gave details on the XJ's power, performance and handling. Jaguar sought to drive consumers to dealers to pre-order the car.


A showroom section launches online this month.


Site registrants get a confirmation e-mail thanking them for their interest. A password is included for access to thenewxj.com and other Jaguar sites.


"It's a culmination of learnings from Jaguar's perspective: How do you manage users from the beginning to pre-launch period, keeping them interested in your products and out of your competitors' products?" said Matt Passey, senior account director at Global Beach's Irvine office.


"One of the things that Global Beach is offering Jaguar is not only the ability to recognize when a registrant returns to thenewxj.com, but the key cast [tracking] system allows us to identify these consumers as they come back to other Jaguar sites like jaguar.com," he said.


Offline, the mailing process went through similar waves. The first "innovation" drop to online hand-raisers and existing Jaguar owners went in February. The April mailing was on details and May on performance. Recipients were asked to go online for more information.


The series of communications was "used to build the 'substance' story and overcome potential purchase barriers," Wunderman's Browe said.


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