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Jaguar’s villianous F-TYPE Coupe ad isn’t very super, probably won’t bowl anyone over

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A still from from the Jaguar 'Rendevous' ad.

It’s Super Bowl time again. And if you’re not into the game, but forced to watch anyway because that’s what your entire crew is doing or you just threw down for a cool new TV, you might as well look forward to the many super ads that companies roll out for the billions of eyeballs tuned into the annual football super-fracas.

To pack as much brand awareness as they could into each $134,000 second of ad time, Brit motoring icon Jaguar tapped The King’s Speech director, Tom Hooper, to showcase not only the new F-TYPE Coupe but to fill the ad with a clutch of Brit cinema villains, including Sir Ben Kingsley (Ghandi, Sexy Beast, Iron Man 3, dozens more), Tom Hiddleston (ace bad guy Loki in the Thor series) and Lex Luther wannabe Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes, Kick Ass, Zero Dark Thirty, etc.,). All fine and dandy, but the final product comes off as a huge and expensive missed opportunity for Jaguar.

First off, the entire ad, called Rendezvous, is shot around British landmarks most homebody Americans football lovers likely won’t recognize, despite the fact Ben Kinglsey notes right off the top that Brit villains are often at the heart of Hollywood films. So … why not shoot the lovely F-TYPE Coupe (and it is very lovely) around some landmarks that Americans might recognize? Hello? This is football – not futbal – we’re playing here. And it’s not like we’re lacking good roads or locales Jaguar should tempt American buyers to visit in their fine British automobiles.

And for the most part, these iconic bad guys don’t seem very … bad. They’re more pretentious than threatening, really. And, sadly, there’s not much footage of the F-TYPE Coupe either, which should be the star of this short, sharp show. They had a whole minute to make their mark and the part I seem to remember best is the lovely woman handing the keys to Strong. That’s not a good omen.

Seems Forbes noticed as well and put the ad in the “Losers” column with a -5 score, far off the mark of Hyundai (+11), Audi (+5) and Toyota (+6). GM and Kia broke even and sadly, Volkswagen, who had the awesome Force and Get Happy ads in years past, scored a bathroom break score of -8 for their under-achieving new toilet-humor bit, called “Wings.”

If there’s any saving grace to the Rendevous effort, it’s the longer behind-the-scenes video on how they made the ad, which ironically has quite a bit of car footage in it. Good stuff, and it’s nice that Strong did his own driving and likes the car (and the paycheck, no doubt). Jaguar also devoted a website to the ad with more bits but it’s kind of a mess. Here’s hoping Jag adds more video after the game ends.

Here’s the complete Jaguar ad so you can decide now if you want to crank the volume for the snippets of engine noise during its gametime premiere or just step outside for a, uh, smoke break.

And I can’t wait to see that Hyundai ad.

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