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British car manufacturers Jaguar have revealed a new identity and advertising campaign in collaboration with Spark 44, the US-based communications agency part-owned by Jaguar Land Rover. With changes to the “leaper” and “growler” symbols and a custom typeface, the new identity is the biggest shake-up to the company’s branding for forty years.

Adrian Hallmark, Global Brand Director at Jaguar, says this of the campaign: “Our refreshed corporate image and the new global marketing campaign both underline the confidence we have in our existing products, and the vision we have for the future of the brand.”

The campaign has been based around the theme of “Alive”, and in Jaguar’s words “aims to increase awareness of the brand amongst a new audience in line with the brand’s ambitious future plans.” The television, print and digital advertising hopes to give a more contemporary feel to the brand. The primary message is that the “Jaguar is ALIVE; it is a car not so much manufactured as created, and it is as alive as you are,” and the advertising features imagery such as a robot assembly line creating humans and a sonogram with the Jaguar logo as the fetus. Hallmark commented “for too many luxury consumers, there is awareness of the Jaguar brand, but not consideration and modern relevance. Our ALIVE campaign is meant to differentiate Jaguar cars by underscoring its unique emotional character.”

The brand strategy has been created to market the company’s line up of three award-winning Jaguar models: the XF sports car, the XJ full size luxury saloon and the XK coupe and convertible grand tourer. Tags used include “How Alive Are You?” “Do One Thing That Scares You. Every Day” and Every Jaguar Can Do Things Machines Can’t.”

The new identity – and especially the typeface – has been met with some derision, with commenters on the Design Week news piece offering opinions that the brand has lost its British heritage. One person noted that “it looks like Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football typeface,” and another said: “the wordmark – well it now sits well with any middle of the road brand such as Hyundai, Toyota, and anything American. Lost opportunity or are Jaguar lowering their ambitions?”

Jaguar are also launching a “high-profile experiential component” in the US, named the Jaguar Drive Experience. 18 cities will host an event lasting several days, during which time consumers will be able to test-drive the cars in a performance setting, in the company of a professional driver, and push them to their limits.