Remember the story line in this year's Mad Men? The acclaimed series on AMC about an ad
agency in mid-1960s New York City [SPOILER ALERT] depicted the partners going after and ultimately landing the Jaguar account.
Today's Jaguar Cars did not advertise in the series, nor did it pay for any product or brand placement. But, according to spokesman Stuart Schorr, the company received more searches and traffic to its website during the episodes than companies that actually advertised during the series.
While not all of the story line was favorable to Jaguar, the company was certainly content with the attention, so much so that it ran an ad in Advertising Age congratulating the producers and cast.
One of the episodes showed a British account man at the fictional Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, Lane Pryce, was so distraught over being asked for his resignation, that he tried to kill himself by asphyxiating himself in the Jag E-Type his wife had given him. As Pryce started the car, the engine wouldn't turn over. All too typical of a '60s vintage Jag.
Turns out that writers or researchers for the show had called Jaguar anonymously, posing as students, seeking information about Jaguar dealerships of the mid 1960s, specifically how they looked. They also found their way to vice president of brand vice president David Pryor to ask, "How do you make an E-Type not start?"
One might have glibly said, "Turn the key," but Pryor told the caller that loosening the wires to the distributor would certainly do the trick.
It wasn't until the episode aired did Pryor and Schorr put it together, and realized they had contributed to the seminal episode of the series this year.
Jaguar still hasn't spent any ad money on Mad Men, but on August 17 the company will co-host a party at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance with Playboy Magazine at which Mad Men star Christina Hendricks will be the special guest.