why, Why, WHY? (Jaguar TV Commercial)

Have you seen the new Jaguar TV commercial? I’m talking about the one where a woman on a ski lift drops a ski. ‘Our Hero’ (a Jaguar driver of course) picks up the ski and drives up the mountain to meet her on top to give it back.

OK, so now you know which one we’re talking about, next time you see it, have a look at the registration plates on the car. They are different on the front and back! One end says YYY101 the other says 101YYY! Now there’s a logical explanation for this but it’s purely my supposition. My guess is that Jaguar wanted the commercial to be useable in a number of countries; those who drive on the left and those who drive on the right. So, being too ‘cheap’ to take two cars and do two shots (where either left or right hand drive would be noticeable) they simply mirrored some of the shots in editing left-to-right for certain audiences.

Now then, a deduction! As we’re seeing the version with some shots reversed here in the UK, the primary version was shot for left hand drive cars, driving on the right hand side of the road. Further deduction – Jaguar does not put it’s home (i.e. British) audience first when planning it’s advertising!

Now, as I say, all this is guesswork of course, but it’s funny the tracks along which one’s mind wanders when one notices something like this! Anyone from Jaguar wish to comment? I would also be interested to hear from anyone in Europe or the USA who sees this TV commercial. Are the registration plates the same front and back in your version? Bet they are!

By the way, Jaguar, YYY101 is a very notable and of course, reversable, number. (A number plate with an E, P, N or K, etc. would be spotted instantly if mirrored, so I can understand the logic.) The natural reaction however is to read “YYY” as three words – “Why, Why, Why?” which makes it noticeable. Personally, I’d have chosen something like AVA, WXW or HTH; equally palindromic but far less likely to be spotted.

I looked at the Jaguar website to see if the commercial was online. It isn’t – another missed viral opportunity, especially with odd number plates that would have ensured it got sent around and actually done Jaguar more good than harm in the process. Anyway, whilst there, I noticed at the bottom of the Jaguar Website home page it says “Copyright (c) 2002”!

I’m available for New Media and Marketing Consultancy, Jaguar!


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