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Jaguar Unleashes Its Live Icon

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LOS ANGELES Jaguar Cars and Young & Rubicam are set to break a television spot today for the S-Type R model featuring, for the first time, a live Jaguar.

The 30-second spot, "Worlds Collide," illustrates two features of Jaguar's most powerful sports sedan: its 390-horsepower engine and its appearance. This is the first high-action spot for Jaguar, according to Y&R in Irvine, Calif.

The spot opens with a jaguar cat emerging from the jungle, growling. It then cuts to a dark Andalusian horse, which neighs. As it rises up on its hind legs, a stampede of horses appears behind it. The horses and the jungle cat run towards each other and collide, creating a cloud of dust. When the dust settles, the Jaguar S-Type R is revealed. A voiceover says, "Presenting the 390-horsepower Jaguar S-Type R." The ad uses the new tagline, "Born to perform," which Jaguar debuted earlier this month.

"We're focusing on more than just appearance—its beauty, performance attributes and technology," said Y&R executive creative director John Doyle. "Jaguar as some tremendous equity—it makes beautiful, fast cars. We also have a great icon. We wanted to use it as a device to convey performance."

Vic Armstrong, who has also worked on films such as Gangs of New York and Charlie's Angels, directed the spot. It is his commercial debut as a director, although he said he has acted in spots over the years, including an ad for Heineken.

"He's one of the top talents as an action director in the world," said executive producer Robert Parker. "We saw his reel and we felt he could bring a lot to this particular piece of communication."

Armstrong said he had "always been intrigued" by directing a commercial, and was drawn to this project because the spot has "a great film feel to it." He added, "It's also very intensive work over a short period of time."

The spot was shot in Almeria, Spain. "It had the topography we were looking for, and good production values," said Doyle. "We wanted to create an archetypal battlefield and Spain gave us that landscape." The horses and the jaguar were native to Spain, he said.

In addition to serving as creative director, Doyle was the writer and art director on the spot. The director of photography was Andrew Lesnie, and Weta of New Zealand worked on special and visual effects.

The TV spot is running nationally during programs such as CNN's Larry King Live and Daybreak, E! News Live, True Hollywood Stories, and CNBC's Powerlunch and Morning Call. Supporting print also breaks the week of April 28 in national newspapers including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Investor's Business Daily as well as in the June issues of GQ, InStyle and Vogue, among other magazines. Two 30-second radio spots are also in the media mix.

Jaguar spent $3 million on ads for the S-Type R in 2002 and $25 million for the S-Type overall last year, according to CMR.