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As far as the work going on at the advertising agency on AMC's drama Mad Men in its fifth season, a fair amount of the focus has been on the Jaguar campaign. The people at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce have been worked hard over the course of the season to win Jaguar's business. Of course, that came at a price for some. Given last night's episode, it's understandable that Jaguar might want to weigh in on how their brand has been used throughout the season, particularly with regards to this week's episode. And it's at this point that you should definitely stop reading if you aren't caught up with the series!
We've seen Jaguar play a fairly significant role in this season of Mad Men. This includes Don and Joan taking a test-drive together in one of the cars, and Joan inevitably "earning" her partnership at the company by bedding one of the executives. Talk about taking one for the team. And then last night, in "Commissions and Fees," Lane attempted to use the Jaguar his wife bought him as his method of suicide. It didn't work, as he couldn't get the car to start, and he inevitably took his final act up to his office.
Jaguar North America's David Pryor, VP of Marketing, and Stuart Schorr, VP of Communications Jaguar North America explained their thoughts to Jalopnik.com, on how the Jaguar brand was used throughout the season of Mad Men. First and foremost, if you're curious, they didn't pay to have Jaguar used in the series, nor did they have any say or knowledge in/of how the brand would be used in the series.
The site offers a list of reactions from the Jaguar reps as they watched the season, including how the cars were portrayed and how the Jaguar campaign affected the plot of the show. That includes the pitch, which they said Draper nailed.
The pitch. Draper nails it. "At Last, Something Beautiful You Can Truly Own." The car is something beautiful, sexy, something (unlike the women in his life) you can love, but ultimately, something you can own and be in charge of. This is his masculine fantasy, and the car plays an important role. We like it because it captures the essence of Jaguar as more than a machine — something emotional, alive. The timing is perfect as we just launched our own ALIVE campaign that seeks to capture the very same elements of the brand, but in a modern context. This is Jaguar. And there was this bit about the dealer sleeping with Joan. We're trying to ignore that part.
Yeah, I can see why they'd want to ignore that last part, though it'd be impossible for fans of the show to do the same, especially now that she's a partner at the firm. While we may not always associate her act with Jaguar directly, we might always connect her place as partner with what she had to do to get it. That's actually pretty unfortunate, considering how capable Joan is. But that's the nature of the drama.
Jaguar was used once again in a big way last night when Lane attempted to use his shiny new Jaguar to kill himself. And then it wouldn't start! Here's what the Jaguar reps had to say about that…
12. Going into second to last episode of season, we're truly ready for ANYTHING to happen. As soon as we see the tailpipe with cloth in it, we know this is going to be bad. "It won't START. The car won't start!" We have never been so happy to see our car not start. How weird is this? Maybe he doesn't know how to use the choke? We're sad about the character's death as it was Lane who first brought Jaguar to SCDP. Mantra for the day: "It's a TV SHOW People!" We're waiting for season finale with excitement and trepidation. This is must watch TV, for us at least.
It's amusing to think they'd be happy to see their car not start, but given the circumstances, it's also completely understandable.
I actually like that Mad Men uses real brands for SCDP's business. It enhances the authenticity of the series. With that said, it would probably be a stretch to fault Jaguar directly for any of the negative associations created by this fictional series. The candid reactions from the people at Jaguar only seem to reinforce that. Their take on how the brand is used throughout the season is pretty interesting. You can read the full list of their reactions at Jalopnik.com.