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How Jaguar Made Consumers the Stars of a Cross-Country Tour

In a cross-country tour, the luxury car brand let people star in a short virtual-reality film and test-drive cars.

By Carla Hay October 27, 2016, 7:30 AM EDT

Photo: Courtesy of Jaguar

British luxury car company Jaguar literally put consumers in the driver's seat for the Art of Performance Tour. The interactive, cross-country promotion targeted millennials by allowing them to test-drive Jaguar vehicles, as well as making them stars of an action-filled virtual-reality film produced on site.

The tour, which wraps up this weekend at Dulles Expo Center in suburban Washington, D.C., takes “the traditional test-drive model [and updates] it for the digital era,” said Jaguar vice president of marketing Kim McCullough.

Anyone could sign up for the free event by registering online at Jaguar's website. Upon entering, guests were taken to a showroom with Jaguar's full new-model lineup. People could sit inside each car and ask questions to brand ambassadors, and interactive kiosks stationed throughout the event space also gave information about the cars.

After the showroom experience, guests were taken to a filming area, which was decorated like a movie set with dressing-room tables and stylists for hair and makeup. A “director” was on set to tell guests how to act in the seven scenes that would be digitally inserted in a film called The Audition. The two-minute film shows participants playing a rookie spy with actor Graham McTavish (who prerecorded his scenes), including sequences with participants in a car chase while driving the Jaguar XE model. After the guests filmed their scenes, the film was edited, completed, and shown in the lounge area. Through an emailed link via VideoBridge technology, guests could watch the video on their computers or mobile devices, and could upload clips to Facebook.

In a lounge area, interactive elements included a photo booth where people could pose with a virtual jaguar, kiosks where guests could customize their dream Jaguar car, and a booth selling merchandise such as clothing and coffee mugs. Before leaving the event area, guests were asked to fill out an electronic survey and were given a Jaguar key chain as a parting gift.

Jaguar produced the tour with Spark 44. Other marketing agencies involved were Mindshare, which developed and produced The Audition with Facebook's Creative Shop Studio, as well as managed the tour's media buy. Automotive Events developed the test-drive component.

Millennials were the main target audience, according to Jaguar. “The Jaguar XE is at the heart of this next generation of Jaguar and will be bringing an influx of younger customers into the brand,” McCullough said.

The tour's stops included New York/New Jersey, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, and San Francisco. Outside the U.S., the tour has gone to countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.

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