What was the event? The world premiere launch of the Jaguar XJ and part of an 11-day campaign from the iconic motoring brand. Almost 500 VIP guests, including Elle Macpherson, Jay Leno, Sir Trevor McDonald and Alex James, headed to The Saatchi Gallery for the big reveal.
How was the brief met? Rather than launching its latest model at a traditional motorshow, Jaguar decided to mix things up and try a different type of launch campaign. This included taking dealers, motoring journalists, consumers and celebrities on a journey through the history and technological aspects of the new Jaguar XJ.
Ushered along a snaking black carpet, guests entered the impressive venue and headed into two of its galleries that had been uniquely styled for the event. Both housed bars handing out champagne, bespoke cocktails, wine and beer, while one showcased the new car's interior and colours in an art-like display hanging from the wall. The other gallery boasted a DJ booth for Sophie Ellis-Bextor to spin some tunes, while hanging from the back wall, like a contemporary art installation, was the actual aluminium body of a Jaguar XJ.
Having mingled with each other and the upper echelons of the Jaguar fraternity, revellers then moved into three further galleries that each housed a different coloured version of the new car. However, it was the silver model that formed the focal point of the launch, with television host Jay Leno compering the unveiling with a repertoire of gags and humorous skits. This was broadcast live onto plasmas in the other two galleries as blue and red versions of the car were simultaneously revealed.
After the unveiling, guests were treated to canapes served up by caterer Le-Caprice, and danced the night away to a selection of tunes courtesy of Ellis-Bextor.
What was good? The brave decision by Jaguar - assisted by production agency Imagination - to move out of its comfort zone and try something completely different to its usual launch format. Of particular note was the interactive journey that allowed guests to experience the inner workings of the new car, and use of the venue to provide an art installation-style launch.
What was bad? Rather strangely, due to the layout of the presentation the autocue was on display on two large plasmas screens throughout the unveiling. It took away some of the mystique of Leno and the Jaguar managing director, especially as the audience knew when they would be pausing and even what they were about to say. Also, the food was good, but fell a long way short of what you would expect at a launch for such a prestigious brand.
ON THE SPOT - CJ O'DONNELL GLOBAL MARKETING DIRECTOR, JAGUAR
What was the biggest challenge? Bringing three cars into the gallery was very interesting. We had to construct a special rig that involved taking the wheels off each of the marques beforehand. To achieve this we had to bring in a special team of Jaguar engineers.
What would you do differently next time? To be fair, nothing. This launch represents the way forward for us. Normally we launch our cars at a motorshow, but doing it in this way has given us the opportunity to get closer to the consumers and motoring journalists.
What did the event achieve? This event was one part of a multitude of objectives. In particular it gave us a real opportunity to add a bit of glamour to the car and associate it with a host of VIPs. It also allowed us to generate some publicity and help the general public to understand the brand and car.
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