February 18, 2014
Jaguar Land Rover North America is targeting New York subway commuters with train takeover promotions for its Good to be Bad campaign.
The Good to be Bad campaign officially debuted during the Super Bowl Feb. 2, which makes it safe to assume that many of the commuters will recognize the slogan. Since one of the chief aims of the multichannel effort is to reposition the brand's image, the venue will serve the purpose of attracting and holding the attention of significant numbers of consumers.
“As a general concept I would say that some of Jaguar's target market goes on the subway, so I don’t think it's illegitimate, but I do think that there are probably better places to spend your money," said Milton Pedraza, CEO of The Luxury Institute, New York.
"Unless they just wanted to have us talk about the campaign, which we’re doing, then in that sense it becomes the antithesis of what someone might expect," he said.
"When you get consumers to talk about the benefits of the brand, then you’re talking about relevant and reliable and positive awareness. When you just create a mild controversy, you're going to get a mixed crowd."
Mr. Pedraza is not affiliated with Jaguar, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Jaguar did not respond by press deadline.
New York's F Train travels from deep in Queens through Manhattan and down to Coney Island, Brooklyn. The F Train travels through the third busiest subway stop, Herald Square 34th Street, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Another attractive aspect of the F train for marketers is that it spends much of its time above ground.
Jaguar's Good to be Bad promotion on F Train
The E train also experienced a Jaguar makeover, and this train travels through Times Square, the busiest stop in the system.
Overall, New York has the seventh busiest subway system in the world with an annual ridership of 1.665 billion.
What this means is that colossal amounts of people will see Jaguar's promotion and perfunctorily register the message, especially since, in comparison, the other train exteriors will be far less spiffy.
Jaguar promotion on F Train
However, the percentage of commuters who will be moved to buy a Jaguar is likely insignificant.
Jaguar promotion on F train
The brand's intention may be to change the public's perception rather than stimulate sales.
The "Good to be Bad" campaign centers on the idea that "British Villains" dominate Hollywood.
Sir Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleton and Mark Strong were tapped to play villains that muse on what makes British actors so attractive for villainous role. The subtext of the television spot is that the only car suited for these figures is the new F-Type.
Jaguar will likely extend this campaign for several months (see story).
We will be moving shortly
Although it is hard to measure the direct impact of out of home advertising on sales, the medium attracts attention if positioned effectively.
Other luxury brands regularly turn to heavily trafficked transportation venues for outdoor advertising.
For instance, Swiss watchmaker Breguet took over the departures concourse of Geneva International Airport with an exhibit featuring its high-tech watches, the Type XXII 3880 and the Classique Chronométrie 7727.
Breguet’s exhibit, which ran in January, focused on the brand’s technical innovation in watch design and manufacturing along with the brand’s history with aviation. This exhibit drew attention because of its size, and Breguet was able to increase brand awareness among travelers, who are a captive audience (see story).
Also, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton eyed affluent travelers by placing brand advertisements on large digital screens at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
The screens displayed images from a number of LVMH brands including Christian Dior, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Bulgari, TAG Heuer, Hennessy, Parfums Givenchy and Louis Vuitton (see story).
Since the general reaction to an outdoor ad is unpredictable, brands must ensure that they unequivocally reflect key values.
"Usually, what I like to do is to create a campaign that talks about the benefits of the campaign," Mr. Pedraza said.
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York