Filmmaker Spike Lee has helped Nike sell sneakers. Now, he will try to help Jaguar attract black and Hispanic buyers in the United States. Lee, whose films include Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X, will produce advertising for Jaguar as it tries to meet ambitious sales goals.
Introduced to the media at the New York auto show, Lee adopted the company line. 'We're making a dent in Mercedes-Benz,' Lee said. 'It's ridiculous to let Mercedes-Benz bogart (dominate the market).'
Lee's past ad clients include Nike, Levi's, Diet Coke and American Express. Lee's first project for Jaguar, 'The Harlem to Martha's Vineyard Special,' is an eight-minute movie-like commercial. The segment shows a black couple driving from New York to their beach home. A four-minute version is available for viewing on Jaguar's Web site at www.jaguar.com/us/spikelee. Lee also produced 30- and 60-second TV spots. The commercial stars Lee's wife, Tanya Lee, and features the couple's house on Martha's Vineyard, a Massachusetts seaside resort.
Jaguar is counting on the S-Type to double its world sales volume, said Mike O'Driscoll, executive vice presidnt of Jaguar North America. 'To do that, we need to appeal to a broader, younger and more diverse audience - something we have not had to do in the past.'
Nonwhite buyers account for less than 10 percent of Jaguar's sales in the United States. jaguar reported record U.S. sales of 35,039 last year, up sharply from its low of 8,681 in 1992. Jaguar plans to launch its X400 model, which is aimed at the BMW 3-series and the Mercedes C class, in mid-2001.