I’ve always liked Jaguars. My uncle had two of the big XJs growing up. They weren’t always the most reliable machines in the world, but they were so quiet and smooth. I instantly fell in love.
I don’t know how the newer Jaguars compare to my Uncle’s big sedans from the mid-80’s, but that won’t stop us from checking out a pair of Jaguar websites in today’s article.
We’ll start with an ad for the XK, Jaguar’s big coupe of the time. Here’s an ad clipped from an October 2002 magazine:
It’s probably worth noting that the ad is actually for the XKR, the performance version of the XK. I don’t have specifics for what’s different between the XK and XKR, but it’s safe to say the R got a decent little jump in power.
Interestingly, the URL promoted in the ad is for the more run-of-the-mill XK, suggesting we visit Jaguar.com/XK:
Did Jaguar have a specific /XKR domain? If so, why not promote it in their ads? Even in 2002, it should have been relatively easy to set up a redirect at least.
Today, when we try to visit Jaguar.com/XK we are greeted with this:
Yay! It still works! And this is all the more impressive since Jaguar no longer makes the XK. They could have just redirected to a site section for the smaller and sportier F-Type, and that would have been perfectly fine by me. Instead, the /XK site section is devoted to the XK model, giving information about used inventory and suggesting other new Jaguar models, like the F-Type.
I find it rare to see manufacturers give any thought to past models so it’s really good to see an old domain like this preserved.
Okay! Let’s check out the second ad in today’s endeavor. This one comes to us from an October 2004 magazine:
I have a secret love for car ads that don’t actually show the car. In this case, I don’t think it’s because Jaguar is embarrassed of the XJ. The big sedan was impressive and still turns my head today, though you don’t see them out on the road that often.
Instead, I like to think that Jaguar is so proud of the impressive nature of the XJ that all they need to really do is show you a picture of their leaping cat hood ornament to get your attention.
And once they have your attention, they want you to direct it to JaguarUSA.com/UnprecendentedXJ:
For the sake of completeness, it should be noted that this ad came with an accompanying card you could mail in for more information about the XJ.
Here’s the front of that card (which includes another reference to www.jaguarusa.com/unprecedentedxj):
And the back:
I don’t think JaguarUSA.com/UnprecedentedXJ is really factually accurate. You see, the XJ had been around for a long time before 2004, so there really was a preceding XJ. But we get the point: This new model is just so much better, of course, that it may as well be unprecedented.
Fine. We’ll let that slide. What about the company’s web management? How will that hold up?
Ooooh. We won’t let Jaguar take a pass on this one. Instead of going to a current site, we get Jaguar’s generic Page Not Found page.
And it’s not just because the ad references JaguarUSA.com and not the simpler Jaguar.com. You’ll notice in the screengrab of the current site, it actually tries to retrain the /UnprescedentedXJ site section on Jaguar.com.
That’s disappointing but not entirely unexpected. /UnprecedentedXJ is a bit of a mouthful to type so I suppose there’s no surprise that Jaguar isn’t keeping the section around.