1961 Jaguar E-type

Is Mad Men too hard on Jaguar

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Mad Men is a car lover’s soap opera, but the show comes down hard on Jaguar. Is it deserving of the abuse?

Mad Men has a love affair with cars and the recent flirtations with Jaguar have made the show even more sexy. The really neat twist on this is that our protagonist, Don Draper, or should I say quietly, Dick Whitman, is absolutely not a car enthusiast. In past episodes he had to be pushed into buying a Cadillac. His fellow partners thought he should have the best and Don just didn’t care. At one point after Don’s father-in-law passes away he is the owner of both a late 50’s early 60s Lincoln and Cadillac. At that time, in that place, it just didn’t get any better.


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Good article! You raise an important point: Brands often find it hard to recover from serious stumbles. Once Jaguar earned a "reputation" for it's problems, it was in a much harder place to earn consumer trust back from its current customers, and then attract new ones. In the 1980s and 1990s, word of mouth was bad enough; these days it's word-of-mouth-around-the-world-with-social-media, where "gremlins" are retold and retold and retold at the speed of light. And even if Jaguar has dramatically improved its electrical problems (and I personally love the new design compared to the old), it has to do more to foster positive brand perceptions. Mad Men wouldn't be able to be "hard" on the brand if brand loyalists were vocal about the improvements. Even Apple withstood "antennagate" easily, because its fans were loyal to a fault.