Virtual reality? Pffffff. Jaguar and Y&R NZ stunt shows you can’t beat actual reality

When a bunch of Jaguar Facebook fans signed up for a “virtual reality” ride at the Big Boys Toys expo in Auckland earlier this month, they didn’t expect to get the real deal. But when they watched the video after the event, they realised they’d been duped. 

The reason for the stunt? It’s all part of Jaguar’s attempt to refresh the brand and wash away its image as a car for rich, white, old men. James McKee, Jaguar’s New Zealand marketing manager, says ad agency Y&R NZ has an open brief to come up with unexpected campaigns.

“It’s part of a strategy to allow customers and potential customers to reconsider the Jaguar brand by making them see the brand in ways that interest and surprise them – to give them something they didn’t expect from Jaguar.”

Now the video of the stunt has gained over 150,000 hits on Facebook.  

With the company’s “refresh” and the launch of the F-Type model, Jaguar hopes to double the number of cars it sells in New Zealand this year, up from 120 in 2014.

Y&R found candidates for the “actual reality” stunt doing shout outs on Facebook. Interviewed immediately afterwards, several of the participants said they were surprised at how ‘real’ the experience was. Only once the ride was over, was it revealed they had actually zoomed around the Big Boy’s Toys Milwaukee Action Arena. The G-forces they had felt were real.

Surprise has been a common theme for Y&R NZ this year. Back in February, Land Rover, which is part of the same automotive family as Jaguar, worked with Y&R to buy an old Landy off Trade Me, restore it and then give it back to the surprised owners. The campaign reached over one million New Zealanders, took out a TVNZ-NZ Marketing Award and, the biggest honour, was even recreated by a Japanese TV station. 

Y&R NZ then gave McDonald’s a surprise—and put it between a rock and a hard place—with a campaign that asked it to join forces with Burger King and create a burger to honour Peace Day

Jaguar’s rebranding started in 2008 when the company was sold to Indian car manufacturer Tata Motors and brought on British car designer Ian Callum, who designed the F-Type.

“The launch of the F-Type was a catalyst,” says McKee. “It has won awards, and is continuing to win awards.”

Over the past few years, Jaguar has attempted to add some cool factor to the brand with its Good to be Bad campaign, which has called on the services of actors who often play villains. 


Client: Jaguar New Zealand

General Manager: Steve Kenchington

Marketing Manager: James McKee

Agency: Y&R New Zealand

CEO / CCO: Josh Moore

Creative Director: Guy Denniston    

Creative Director: Gavin Siakimotu

Copywriter: Guy Denniston

Art Director: Gavin Siakimotu

Head of Planning: Jono Key

Account Director: Victoria Meo

Senior Account Manager: Melanie Cutfield

Senior Account Manager: Mike Keen

Agency Producer: Liz Rosby

Motion Graphics: Amanda Sasano

General Manager Media: Nicky Greville

Media Business Director: Paul Hamilton

PR: Campbell + Co

Film company: 8Com

Director: Michael Humphrey

Executive Producer: Katie Millington                  

Producer: Gene Keelan

Editor: Jarrod Wright

Audio: Liquid Studios

Post production: Toybox

Props: Gyro


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