Jaguar Chases ‘Rabbit’ Through Streets of S.F.

LOS ANGELES Jaguar continues its “Born with, lives for” positioning with a 30-second TV spot for its XJR model.

The “Mechanical Rabbit” ad, from WPP’s Young & Rubicam in Irvine, Calif., touts the vehicle’s 390-horsepower engine.

The spot opens with a silver rabbit racing down a track, followed by a close-up of Jaguar’s “leaper” hood ornament, which appears to be chasing the rabbit. The camera pans out to reveal a black Jaguar XJR, which pursues the rabbit over the Golden Gate Bridge and past San Francisco landmarks such as the Palace of Fine Arts and the “Painted Ladies” Victorian houses. “Born with: 390 supercharged HP” is the onscreen text.

The rabbit goes through a warehouse on the pier at the Embarcadero and slows down as it approaches the water, much like a rabbit escaping down a hole and emerging at the other end to discover that “the game is over,” said John Doyle, executive vice president and executive creative director at Y&R. Copy is: “Lives for: the hunt.” The spot ends with an electrocardiograph blip and the “Born to perform” tagline, which was introduced in April 2003.

“We’re still trying to make people aware of the performance capabilities of the car,” said Doyle, adding that Jaguar introduced its 390-horsepower XJR last year.

The Irvine automaker, a division of Ford Motor Co., introduced its “Born with, lives for” campaign in January 2004 with three spots for the 2004 Jaguar X-Type.

The XJR ad broke yesterday and is running on national cable and spot network such as CNN Headline News, E!, VH1, Food Network, Fox News, ESPN, A&E, CNBC and Bravo, as well as on local network programs like NYPD Blue, West Wing, Everybody Loves Raymond, Late Night With Conan O’Brien, The Practice and 60 Minutes. Media spending could not be determined.