Whilst the Queen and her fellow Windsors basked in a never-ending orgy of celebration the past few weeks, another hallowed British name fared less well. Jaguar, that scion of taste, elegance and style has been literally dragged through the mud in the most recent Mad Men episodes.
As noted in a previous Repman blog, the Brit brand-bashing began last week when Herb Rennet, president of the fictional Jaguar Dealers Association, said he'd trade his decisive vote to award the carmaker's business for a night in the sack with Sterling Cooper's voluptuous Joan Halloway Harris.
But, even that sleazy scenario seemed like a stroll in Hyde Park in comparison to the reputation rape and pillaging perpetrated this past Sunday.
First, a visibly upset Don Draper charged into Roger Sterling's office and told the latter he was tired of chasing small, unimportant brands. “I don't want Jaguar,” he screamed. “I want Chevy!” Ouch.
But, the true (and literal) nail in the coffin came when the suicidal Lane Pryce tried to off himself in his brand new Jaguar by blocking the carbon monoxide from the tail pipe. Instead, a car that's always been dogged by accusations of abysmal quality, failed to start. And, Lane's death wish is foiled (however briefly).
I still believe Jaguar will come out ahead in the long run. Whilst (note my deference to the Queen's English) the carmaker bore the brunt of numerous head-on image collisions courtesy of Matthew Weiner & Company, I believe the brand awareness will be well worth it.
I can’t imagine what Jaguar would have had to pay in advertising dollars for the same amount of air time on Mad Men. And, besides, who cares if the company president is sleazy, Don thinks the brand is a me-too and the damn engine won't turn over when Lane needs it most? In a month or so, the average viewer will only remember one thing: Jaguar was THE car featured in my all-time favorite series. And, that, dear reader, translates to what marketers call favorability. And favorability is a critical step in the buying cycle that follows awareness and precedes purchase.
So, whilst the first half score of the past fortnight may be Windsor One, Jaguar Nil, I think the latter will catch up, if not pass, their more famous competitor.