Automotive brands are pretty keen on ambassadors. Audi has Simon Gault and Steve Dunstan, BMW has Jeff Wilson, Josh Emett and Kathryn Wilson and now Jaguar has teamed up with the founder of Crane Brothers, Murray Crane, in an effort to launch its new XF and continue its sales momentum.
Motorcorp Group, which also distributes Land Rover and Volvo, says Jaguar sales are up 54 percent on this time last year, with demand for vehicles often exceeding availability and delivery of product. In 2014, it sold a total of 122 vehicles (figures weren't available for previous years on the MIA site, but if you want to see how things have changed, it's collated sales for most brands back to 1984). And the announcement of its first official New Zealand ambassador is an attempt to increase that.
Last year, Jaguar launched an international campaign for its F-Type Coupe that focused on 'British Villains' that starred Ben Kingsley, Mark Strong and Tom Huddleston.
It then evolved the campaign to focus on 'British Intelligence', with Nicholas Hoult enlisted as mascot.
Those campaigns have been highly acclaimed and have helped give the brand a push into the modern era. And, as this story on Stuff shows, Crane is renowned for having a tough streak to go along with his stylish streak, so the tie up seems like a good fit.
As part of the partnership, customers purchasing a Jaguar XF from 1 April 2015 will receive their own customised Crane Brothers suit personally fitted by Murray Crane at a Crane Brothers store, or a location of their choice (the two-piece pinstripe suit with British racing green lining is said to be inspired by Jaguar and gives a nod to the Villains campaign). And it's promoting the deal with print ads by Y&R NZ that have featured in the NBR, Sunday Star Times and World magazine.
Founded in 1999, the Crane Brothers brand has grown from a small two person business to one that today employs 25 people.
“The Jaguar brand has always represented excellence. A tradition of excellent engineering and a reputation for contemporary design which are qualities I always aspire to with my own brand," Crane says. "For Crane Brothers as a business, this partnership represents an enormous opportunity to work with an international brand in such a significant way. Personally it inspires me to continue to raise the standard of what we do and reward our clients by continuing to improve and develop."
Elsewhere in automotive sweetener news, Audi has partnered with Air New Zealand and is offering Airpoints to those who buy a new car.