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Jaguar responds to 'Mad Men' portrayal
On last week's episode of AMC's hit drama "Mad Men," Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and his staff landed one of their biggest accounts yet: Jaguar. And, it turns out, the Brit automaker was as surprised as the rest of the show's viewers by where the storyline went.
In the episode in question, Herb Rennet (Gary Basaraba), the head of the Jaguar Dealers Association, gives the lucrative account to Draper's ad firm SCDP in exchange for a lustful evening with the firm's hot-stuff office manager, Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks) -- although Draper wants the firm's pitch to seal the deal.
Jaguar was contacted about the episode -- but only for research purposes; the car manufacturer had no input in the script.
"I'm a big fan of the show and it was gratifying to see our brand portrayed," JaguarUSA's VP-brand development David Pryor told AdAge.com. He added, "I would say we were fairly surprised at the turn of events."
"Obviously it was kind of tainted ... with the storyline," said Mr. Pryor about Rennet's sleazy dealings. "We would agree with Don's position that the best creative should win, not something that was less than above-board. At the end of the day, though, we're confident that people know it's a fictional character."
As for Draper and co.'s '60s-era ad pitch for the Jaguar brand, which emphasized the auto's sleek, sexy design and likened owning one to having a mistress, Pryor commented, "As I watched the show, I was wondering where the pitch was going to go, especially with the whole mistress thing."
He continued, "One connection I liked was, they went down this emotional path. They weren't trying to sell the car, they were building on this emotional connection, this love, this lust that people had for the brand back then and that we're trying to recreate now."