The PR and Marketing teams at Jaguar have had the equally exciting (the cars are amazingly sexy) and horrifying (they found gum where?) experience of watching their car company portrayed on AMC's Mad Men.
Jaguar North America's David Pryor, VP of Marketing, and Stuar Schorr, VP of Communications Jaguar North America, explain in detail — exclusively for Jalopnik — what that thrilling ride's been like this season - especially given last night's shocking episode. (Warning: Spoilers!) — Ed.
Many of us at Jaguar North America are fans of AMC's Mad Men and we are enjoying the brand's role in the show. Although we did not have any involvement in the Jaguar story line, the show's researchers did contact us to gain detail about certain models of the era and what a Manhattan dealership looked like in those years. That's the extent of our involvement.
We don't know what's going to happen in the season finale, but we will sure be watching. Here are our best and worst moments of the last few episodes.
1. Loved it when we first heard Jaguar. Perversely proud when Don Draper says over dinner that, "...a man getting out of a Jaguar needs a cold shower...The Jaguar XKE is pornographic."
2. When a Jaguar executive was caught fooling around on the agency dime, and there wasn't a chance for SCDP to land the account, we figured 'Oh well, that's it. Short and sweet.'
3. Tensions start to rise in office when PR staff describes the hooker-chasing Jaguar Marketing executive as the "David Pryor" character. Marketing feels better when a blogger later not so-generously describes our PR team with, "the PR people at Jaguar aren't dumb."
4. We are thrilled when Jaguar storyline re-enters the show when Pete informs colleagues that their agency is back in the running for their elusive car account, Jaguar. We try to pretend didn't hear shots taken at Jaguar's reliability in the 1960s.
5. More thrilled when Don and Joan visit a fictional Manhattan Jaguar dealership. The cars look spectacular. The salesman describes the Mark Sedan as "Too much power for the roads in England". "The E-Type is the most beautiful car in the world," says the salesman in perhaps the most credible bit of snake oil car salesmanship ever. Has anyone ever test drove a car cooler than Don Draper with his $6,000 keep-the-check-and-the-change-if-I-don't-come-back, move?
6. Love the testosterone-fueled images of the red Jaguar E-Type. Parked outside hotel on the curb, side view, tailpipes showing. He drives E-Type home, running through the gears, and you imagine the vintage 60s leather smell and the cool to the touch of the steering wheel and shift knob. Again, we ignore old school Jaguar reliability comments.
7. Emotional highpoint occurs when Draper delivers Lombardi-esque speech to office staff to rally around the Jaguar pitch. We are elated because we know Jaguar storyline continues at least through end of the season.
8. Somewhat elated, but empty feeling as we get congratulated for a marketing coup that frankly we didn't orchestrate. Everyone wants to know did we know what was going to happen (no), did we pay for placement (no). Others are indignant. "This is awful, What are you going to do about how Jaguar executive was portrayed?" This is going to be complicated. But our job is to promote the desirability of our cars, not the morality of our fictional executives.
9. For the first time, we go into a Mad Men episode with a Jaguar storyline, prepared for action. Our team of Tweeters is on call to discuss how to react. Excitement quickly turns to revulsion when Jaguar dealer has his own sordid extra-curricular interests for the account-hungry agency to entertain. Prostitution? Cleopatra? Ugg...
10. The pitch. Draper nails it. "At Last, Something Beautiful You Can Truly Own." The car is something beautiful, sexy, something (unlike the women in his life) you can love, but ultimately, something you can own and be in charge of. This is his masculine fantasy, and the car plays an important role. We like it because it captures the essence of Jaguar as more than a machine — something emotional, alive. The timing is perfect as we just launched our own ALIVE campaign that seeks to capture the very same elements of the brand, but in a modern context. This is Jaguar. And there was this bit about the dealer sleeping with Joan. We're trying to ignore that part. Our team delivers simple Tweet that summarizes all:
11. Second wave of publicity hits with a wide range of emotions projected onto us. Just look at the headlines: Jaguar is cool looking like total scumbags on Mad Men ; Jaguar Seeks to Make Most of Its Mad Men Coup; 'Mad Men' Gets Disapproving Tweet from Jaguar over Joan Storyline.
12. Going into second to last episode of season, we're truly ready for ANYTHING to happen. As soon as we see the tailpipe with cloth in it, we know this is going to be bad. "It won't START. The car won't start!" We have never been so happy to see our car not start. How weird is this? Maybe he doesn't know how to use the choke? We're sad about the character's death as it was Lane who first brought Jaguar to SCDP. Mantra for the day: "It's a TV SHOW People!" We're waiting for season finale with excitement and trepidation. This is must watch TV, for us at least.
You can follow along with us and the rest of the North American Marketing and PR teams who are following the show line via Twitter @JaguarUSA, on our Facebook.com/JaguarUSA page and on www.InteractiveJaguar.com.