Jaguar Cars North America will launch its first dedicated direct mailing to blacks in January. The luxury carmaker partnered with filmmaker Spike Lee's 40 Acres and a Mule Productions to create the piece. The first test mailing goes to 75,000 consumers.
Two months later, after results are analyzed, another wave will target 300,000 people, said Mike Sachs, relationship marketing manager at Jaguar. Another 300,000 units are planned in the subsequent two months.
Jaguar plans to reach consumers between the ages of 35 and 54 with annual incomes of $75,000 or more who drive competitive makes. Current Jaguar owners are not part of the mailing. The list was culled from about six sources, including the database of Essence magazine.
'We recognize the fact that the African-American target is a big market for us, but they don't really consider us, I think because the perception is we're too pricey,' Sachs said.
In the past, Jaguar let its general market agency, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide in New York, handle ads for black media such as the BET cable channel, Essence and Black Enterprise. But Sachs said Lee has more expertise and a better understanding of the black community.
The mailing includes a lifestyle-oriented brochure and an eight-minute video for Jaguar that was released at the New York auto show in April. It shows a female black surgeon and her sculptor husband preparing for a jaunt to Martha's Vineyard, Mass., from New York's Harlem in their Jaguar.
Sachs said Ogilvy & Mather's research revealed that blacks are more attentive to pieces that feature blacks. The agency's ads only showed Jaguar cars.
When Jaguar announced its partnership with Lee at the New York show, Mike O'Driscoll, president of Jaguar, said the marketer needed to appeal to a wider and more diverse audience. He said minority buyers account for between 5 percent and 10 percent of U.S. sales.
Jaguar is preparing for the launch of its smaller, more affordable X-Type next year. Jaguar sold 39,493 cars in the United States through November compared with 30,093 for the same period a year ago. It spent $33 million on marketing from January through August 2000, according to Competitive Media Reporting.