Motorcorp Group has moved Jaguar and Land Rover from the incumbent account-holders BIG Communications (creative) and Total Media (media) to Y&R NZ, bringing the accounts in line with the global partnership the group holds with the WPP-owned agency.
James Yates, the general manager of Jaguar Land Rover New Zealand (JLR), says that significant growth in New Zealand sales has meant the brands are now at at a point where they need to align with a global agency partner.
“We greatly respect BIG and Total. Ironically it’s partly thanks to their great work that we find ourselves in this position. While we have been free to manage our own marketing affairs up until now, there is now a lot more involvement from our overseas partners and given this, making use of the international relationships makes sense.”
“Land Rover sales are going from strength to strength, and the DNA of the brand still resonates in New Zealand as strongly as ever,” says Yates.
Despite this optimism, Yates concedes that growth in Jaguar sales hasn't been quite as strong, and this sentiment is shared by Y&R NZ's managing director Steve Kane.
"Jaguar and Land Rover are prestige brands in rude health and we’re looking forward to helping the team at JLR realise their considerable potential," says Kane.
At the moment, the brands are still being transitioned from the previous account holders to Y&R, but the new agency will have to hit the ground running because the car manufacturer is planning to release several new models in the near future.
"Both brands have a number of dramatic new models coming out over the next 12-18 months, including the Discovery Sport and Jaguar XE, and we'll be focused on increasing opportunities for consumers to engage with Jaguar and Land Rover brands over this period," says Kane.
Given that the target market for both brands has traditionally been quite specific (Land Rover to a lesser degree), there has been very limited use of television advertising in promotion of the vehicles. Despite this precedent, Kane has however suggested that television could be used as a medium in the future.
"We're relishing the opportunity to develop tailored communications for our market and it'd be fantastic if TV was part of the mix but we'll just have to wait and see."
According to Nielsen's ad spend figures (based on rate cards), both brands have increased their advertising budgets significantly since 2011. And this trend is likely to continue this year as the Motorcorp Group aims to draw attention to the new models on the market.
In related news, Y&R NZ's head of copy Carlos Savage will be transferring abroad to take up a role as an associate creative director on the Land Rover global account at the New York offices of the agency's international network.