Nontraditional strategy places Jaguar Land Rover in new light

Jaguar and Land Rover are adjusting to market demands, and PR is helping change their image.

Company Jaguar and Land Rover Brands
Campaign Los Angeles Auto Show Blitz
Duration November 12-18, 2010
Budget Approximately $1 million

Jaguar and Land Rover are adjusting to market demands, and PR is helping change their image. Range Rover's Evoque and Jaguar's C-X75 electric concept car were unveiled at last November's Los Angeles Auto Show. Both embody a new focus - a smaller, more fuel-efficient Land Rover and a more modern Jaguar.

Breaking from traditional auto PR tactics of focusing on one big press day, VP of communications for North America Stuart Schorr and his team of eight executed an aggressive campaign.

"We rely heavily on global PR," he says. "We don't have ad budgets to compete with the big brands. We need to communicate who we are, how we're changing, and what we've got coming."


Strategy

"Our PR operation is evolving and expanding the paradigm of how we communicate with the public," Schorr explains. "Media relations is still the foundation, but it's not limited to that."

Pre-show events, including several with car collector Jay Leno, and guerrilla activities were used to reach consumers, VIPs, and select media. Social media and direct marketing tactics also drove awareness.


Tactics

The team hosted 30 members of auto, lifestyle, and business media for pre-show events beginning Friday, November 12.

That night the C-X75 was parked in front of Cleo, which Schorr describes as the "hottest restaurant in town," and Evoque hosted a party at The Colony nightclub. Early Saturday, the team and Jaguar's chief designer displayed the C-X75 - unannounced - to thousands of car enthusiasts at Irvine's Cars & Coffee classic car show.

The next stop was Jay Leno's garage in Burbank, CA, where he was the first to test drive the C-X75. Video and stories were posted on his bigdoggarage.com site and given to media.

Media test drove the C-X75 on November 14 at a hangar in Santa Monica, CA. The next day, Leno hosted technical seminars and a reception at his garage for media and VIPs.

Evoque debuted to media and VIPs November 16 at Cecconi's restaurant. Four Los Angeles brand ambassadors were also announced, including OK Go, a band that promoted the Evoque at a street parade that same day.

Additional Evoque tactics included billboards, branding of the W Hotel (where several hundred dealers stayed), and sculptural wire-frame representations of the car.

Event video and daily blogs were posted on interactivejaguar.com, interactivelandrover.com, and helloevoque.com. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages were also used.

On November 17, the auto show press conference was webcast live around the world on multiple sites.


Results

The brand engaged with 16,000 people prior to the show. There were also more than 200,000 webcast views, along with in-creased traffic to all websites.

Interactivejaguar.com visits nearly doubled, to 1,387, from November 12-20 compared to the previous week. Traffic spiked on Helloevoque.com 50% on November 17 and 18, to 7,000 daily visits. In addition, after the street parade, weekly downloads of a "Pulse of the City" app doubled to 2,800.

The effort garnered 500 TV appearances, reaching 22 million potential viewers. Outlets covering the stories included The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, MTV, and BBC.

Schorr reports overall sales for Jaguar Land Rover North America increased 18% in 2010.

"Positive sales results show the brands' transformation and aggressive communications are driving momentum," he adds.

Future

The nontraditional approach of mixing events, press conferences, and social media outreach will continue globally for both brands. The team is looking to adapt the Los Angeles show approach to other 2011 events.


The Jaguar Land Rover team's fresh approach to auto show PR nicely reflected and drove the new direction of both brands. Comms VP Stuart Schorr emphasized the unprecedented strategy to move cars and a campaign around the city at a fast pace, which generated buzz and momentum. The team put together a great mix of announced and surprise events. It was smart to use video, blogging, and social media outreach to extend reach. In addition, incorporating Jay Leno's star power and true love of automobiles was particularly effective.

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