Jaguar Touts Safety

LOS ANGELES Having helped set the standard for style, Jaguar now wants to talk more about substance. The luxury car maker is set to launch a campaign this week focusing on the safety of the Jaguar X-Type’s all-wheel drive feature.

Spending on the campaign, which will run through march, is just under $20 million, according to sources.

“Consumers continue to give Jaguar a lot of credit for style,” said Chris Arkell, vp and account director at Young & Rubicam in Irvine, Calif, which created the campaign. “What we needed to work on, from a perception standpoint, is substance, meaning technology and engineering. We wanted to play up the all-wheel drive system and work to heighten nameplate awareness with the Jaguar X-Type.”

Standard all-wheel drive is a point of differentiation for the X-Type, said Sharon Corrigan, retail communications manager for the client in Irvine. Other cars in its class include the BMW 3 Series, the Mercedes C-Class, the Lexus ES 300 and the Audi A4.

Campaign elements are linked by a claw, which is meant to illustrate the importance of four-wheel drive, said Rich Siegel, agency svp and group creative director. “We wanted to leave a lasting image of this car as a a car that holds the road,” he said.

One 30-second spot has the X-Type motoring along just as a fierce storm is about to hit. As lightning strikes and the car crosses a bridge, animated claws are seen coming through the underside of the bridge. A voiceover says: “The 2003 Jaguar X-Type. The only car in its class with permanent all-wheel drive. Standard. The road is at your mercy.”

The campaign, also includes print, radio, outdoor, online and direct elements.

Jaguar, a division of Ford Motor Co., sold nearly 30,000 X-Types in 2002 and projects similar sales for 2003.