Three of my favourite British actors have collaborated with Jaguar to create one of the finest TV adverts of the 21st century. Featured in the Jaguar advert are Sir Ben Kingsley, Mark Strong, and Tom Hiddleston – all of whom portray stereotypical British movie villains. The playful tagline at the centre of the spectacle tells us that: ‘It’s good to be bad.’
Jaguar advert embraces tongue-in-cheek
From the outset, Sir Ben Kingsley asks us whether we have ‘ever noticed how in Hollywood movies all the villains are played by Brits?’ Mark Strong then suggests that ‘maybe we just sound right,’ before driving off in a sleek white Jaguar. Tom Hiddleston chimes in by adding: ‘We’re more focused, more precise.’ The initial delivery of each actor is highly amusing, with a tongue-in-cheek tone clearly being embraced. Check out the rest of the video before we continue…
Stiff upper lips obsessed by power
As you will have heard in the video above, Tom Hiddleston considers British villains to be ‘obsessed by power!’ He then goes on to inform the audience that a ‘stiff upper lip is key.’ The use of power is a clear double entendre, with the word being used to inject humour while reminding us of the performance delivered by a Jaguar. Stiff upper lip is used so as to remind us of Jaguar’s heritage as a quintessential British brand.
‘We all drive Jaguars’
At the conclusion of the advert, all three villains converge on a sprawling mansion. It is at this point that Mark Strong imparts a piece of memorable wisdom about British movie villains: ‘We all drive Jaguars.’ Sir Ben caps the advert off perfectly by adding: ‘Oh, yes…it’s good to bad.’ By this stage, I was laughing loudly and feeling very entertained by Jaguar. (I can also attest to visiting the website that forms part of the campaign.) Admittedly, I did have to remind myself that the advert was to promote the new Jaguar F-TYPE Coupé. But that isn’t a bad thing, as I have come out of the advert with a much higher opinion of the brand than before.
Good to be bad
Jaguar and its marketing team have managed to deliver an advert that plays on the age-old marketing message of how it’s fun to be bad. Of course, being bad all the time is not fun, but driving around in a Jaguar and pretending to being a villain is exactly that. This entire message is delivered in an approach that actually entertains the viewer, and that is a rare commodity in the present age of marketing. Consumers have long detested advertising, but Jaguar has countered this with flair and creativity.
Entertaining on both sides of the Atlantic
The Americans were fortunate enough to see the new Jaguar advert as part of the various ads shown during the Super Bowl, which was held back at the start of February. Armed with this knowledge, we can now determine that the Jaguar advert was developed for the American market. Honestly, it’s a success on both sides of the Atlantic because of the sheer entertainment factor. Delving beneath the surface, the advert communicates the qualities of the brand once the audience has been hooked.
Prestige marketing risks alienation
Prestigious brands often display a restrained, standoffish tone in their marketing campaigns. The average consumer does not connect with these adverts and can often be left feeling alienated. In a new world where communication is virtually instantaneous, prestige brands cannot afford to limit their potential base of engagement. Poor communications will only serve to compromise brand image. Why not try to evolve into a prestigious brand cherished by the world? Jaguar understands this and is now in a position to connect with a much larger audience.
By Mike Porter
[Photo credits to Jaguar USA and Steve Jurvetson]