Film / (web) Serie

Jaguar releases “British Villains”, a short film where any single word is a marketing value

Partnerships between brands and movie directors are a sustainable, long love story.

This year, Jaguar released its first Super Bowl ad directed by Tom Hooper, featuring Sir Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleston and Mark Strong.  Oh, and of course, it also features Jaguar F-Type Coupes!

In this film, the trio explains why the Brits make the best bad guys. Introducing the question “Have you ever noticed how in Hollywood movies all the villains are played by Brits?” -facing the camera- Sir Ben Kingsley plays different roles:

Context: british brand Jaguar releasing a Super Bowl spot within an american context.

Audience attention: a stimulus that triggers and directs the attention to the topic: Why Brits?

Storytelling: it allows the audience to lower its anti-advertising defenses.

“Maybe we just sound right”

What could sound right? Congruency? In this ad, they definitly tried to create congruency between the “villains’ values” and the car attributes. If you listen carefully, they fit:

– “we’re more focused… more precised”: details of the car, security, instant response and precise agile handling.

– “we’re always one step ahead”:  pulse quickening performance. (In case you did not understand, Mark Strong speeds up to impress you…)

– “we have a certain style”: elegance, classy british style.

– “an eye for detail”: luxurious finish , sophisticated technologies.

– “and we’re obsessed by power” (where is the evil british laugh?) : performance, speed, luxurious values.

– “stiff upper lip is key” : in case you did not know, it means that someone has fortitude in the face of adversity or exercises great self-restraint in the expression of emotion. That is why it is often used to describe an attribute of British people. It is, for Jaguar, a way to underline British “values” and also create congruency between the emotions offered by the car attributes and the typology of consumer needs. The targerted consumers can better identify themselves with these values and the others can respond to these if they represent values from a reference group.

Jaguar-Super-Bowl-commercial-British-Villains-lineup (1)


The script is finally composed of : 3/4 corporate and car values, 1/4 storytelling.

In case it was not obvious enough – and also because a branded film is still an ad – they remind you what they all have in common: “and we all drive Jaguar”, strongly proclaimed. Actually, it is not true, as villains drive other cars in many Hollywood movies, but don’t blame the storytelling, they tried their best and they are here to promote the brand.
Teasing the audience with great names, such as the oscar winner director and the three well-famous actors, Jaguar seems to get its inspiration from BWM serie of short films, The Hire, featuring Clive Owen. They kept all the “secret” ingredients that used to work for the other brand, but did not seem that “inspired”.

Trying another attempt to make this ad look like a film, they finally released the unfunny final catch-phrase: “Oh yes, it’s good to be bad”…
However, with all these “eye-catching elements”, a good photography, this “unexplained” car race and the affect the audience has for these familiar faces, I guess most people would acclaim this spot and make it an example of good branded entertainment.

If you want my opinion (and even if you don’t, I’ll give it to you), this spot shows no creativity, no attempt to create a subtile dialogue, neither a subtile way to convey Jaguar values. To differentiate yourself from your competitors, having a good idea and several examples of branded entertainment success – used as good practices- is not enough. Especially if your targeted audience is mainly composed of upper-class consumers.

… I did not mention the blonde girl in the ad… as… well! …  she is just a blonde girl in the ad.

2 thoughts on “Jaguar releases “British Villains”, a short film where any single word is a marketing value

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