Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Sick cat - some remedies

I spoke about Jaguar as an unwell brand here and suggested that it needed to lose those Ford, elitist jet-set and old-man associations. I said instead of being the car of the retiring director this should be the intelligent choice for the high-level executive. Here I'll give some ideas about how to achieve this injection of youth and intelligence using non-traditional media.


The first thing I would do is include the car in the home's wireless network. This would open the doors to a lot of interesting applications. A few might be:
  • The Jaguar Playlist. This would include playlists of cutting-edge music and exquisite classical available to the public and Jaguar owners, except the Jag owners would have the playlists available automatically in their cars.

    A Jaguar interior complete with music so good that it might as well be made right there. Click the image to enlarge.
  • Add GPS to the mix and it would be possible to create geo-playlists. In a similar manner to Night Driving, where VW (DDB) tried to inject the sheer pleasure back into driving by offering night driving routes, geo-playlists would foster driving pleasure though offering great driving routes with an accompanying soundtrack. Drivers would literally discover new music as they drive
  • All sorts of other things that could be 'downloaded' to the car include pre-planned routes you have designed on your computer, entertainment for passengers, the car's improved software (much like Apple do to improve the functioning of the iPods and iPhones), the locations of traffic works, local petrol prices and so on.
  • GPS and car data could also be married together to add value to the driving experience by 'uploading' back to the computers in the house. This might allow for a Jaguar driving analysis website where driving stats could be translated into actionable suggestions like how to consume less fuel or improve your driving routes. It could even be start of 'Driving Web 2.0', where Jaguar owners share great driving routes or arrange group activities.

Moving away from music, while BMW have BMW Films and Audi have the Audi Channel it would seem there is gap for a really gripping Internet 'TV' series in a similar multi threaded, cognitively-feisty style to shows like 24, Lost and Prison Break. Although money might seem like an issue here, I really don't think it is. Season 1 of 24 cost $35,000,000, which works out at about $32, 400 per minute ($35m / [24 episodes x 45 mins]). Guinness just spent a rumoured £10,000,000 ($21,000,000) on this, which works out at $14m per minute ($21,000,000/1.5 mins).

Now, there's probably a tiny bit of comparing apples and oranges here because of media budgets and agency fees (not sure if these are included in that figure) but even so I know what I would rather watch. Even a six part Internet TV show loosely based around Jaguar in some way (designs for their next model are stolen they need to recover them?) would be worth it and attract (rather than impose upon) a healthy number of viewers. The shows could be downloaded into the car's system (like the playlists earlier) for stationary periods or for the back seats.


I am not entirely sure about the much banded-about claim that the games industry is bigger than the film industry but it is big and it is not just catering to pale teenagers. Instead, it looks like this:

(Data from ESA)

Put simply, the people who play computer games overlap with the age group I think Jaguar should be aiming for. It would be a great way reach the Jaguar audience, give off a younger feel and invite people into the brand instead of forcing it upon them. The money is feasible as well. Digital Spy reports that the average cost of developing a PS3 game is $15 million. Assuming the game takes a year to develop, even a relatively inexpensive game would only soak up perhaps 10% of the budget (Jaguar's global ad spend in 2004 was $100m according to this.)

I don't even think the game need be completely dedicated to driving. The most popular genres in the industry include strategy, role playing, action and sports games. One idea might be to let players be like ex-special forces agent Frank Martin, the driver-cum-action hero in Transporter. This would combine driving elements from things like Need For Speed with the strategy, action and role playing of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory. Essentially, the idea would be to complete some intellectually challenging mission with the Jaguar car as one of your major tools.

Art and technology

The next suggestion is to create link-ups with other 'artfully engineered' fields, like architecture or digital art. Perhaps Jaguar could associate itself with all sorts of things that fuse art and technology. They could have the Jaguar Architecture Awards or put on an exhibition of artists whose work celebrates the interdisciplinary spirit at the Tate Modern (e.g. Theo Jansen, Julius Popp, Alex Bradley and Charles Poulet or Ryoji Ikeda.)

I'll add more as I think of them but it's things like this that I think Jaguar should be doing. Not things like the "Gorgeous" campaign.

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