The holiday season can do strange things to public relations people.
Take, for example, Jaguar North America. The firm had launched a holiday ad campaign with the theme 'Unwrap a Jaguar' and, shortly before Christmas, its PR folks had a wacky idea. 'We really wanted to see what a car would look like if it could be wrapped,' said Laura Stein, Jaguar media and new program specialist.
Jaguar PR called 3M figuring that the company, famous for packaging materials, would know the answer. As it turned out, 3M's PR people had just finished a wrapping contest to promote its Scotch brand tape. Jaguar decided to have Ellen Timberlake, the winner of the 3M contest, try to wrap a Jaguar.
After 31 hours of work in early December, a Jaguar S-Type model was wrapped and the media flocked to the story. The PR stunt received coverage in The New York Times business section, the New York Post, the New York Daily News and on the CBS Early Show. Papers in Texas, where the contest winner lives, also picked up the story.
Stein isn't sure if Jaguar will make the car wrapping an annual event.
But any of his close friends or family members who see him trying to sneak 180 rolls of gift wrap into the house next Christmas might have a pretty good idea about what they're going to find under the tree on December 25.