Source: USA TODAY
LOS ANGELES — Skinny ties. Nehru jackets. Fondue parties. The Smothers Brothers. Vietnam. Playboy playmates. Jaguar.
If you want to channel the 1960s, there’s no better way than to focus on the surviving icons of the era. So it should come as no great surprise that Jaguar, the great British auto brand, has embraced Playboy. They’ve become bosum buddies. Literally.
At a swanky party at the Playboy Mansion on Thursday, Hugh Hefner handed over the keys to new swanky new F-Type sports car to Playmate of the Year for 2013, Raquel Pomplun.
The relationship goes far deeper that centerfold girls. The July issue of the magazine that will be mailed to subscribers will feature two covers. The first is cover showing Pomplun modeling in front of the crimson Jaguar wearing a conservative — well, at least by Playboy standards — black dress. The second, which will appear on newsstands, reveals her naked backside.
Both brands see their linkup as a natural. Jaguar officials say the overwhelmingly male readership of Playboy, which the magazine touts as both affluent and relatively young, are the attraction for a marketing relationship as it seeks to sell the new $69,000 F-Type. Plus, the magazine is trying to go upscale and landing a luxury brand like Jaguar represents another feather in its corset.
“At a time we’re undergoing a significant amount of change, Playboy is as well,” says Robert Filipovic, general manager of Jaguar product planning as he steered one of the drop-dead gorgeous convertibles through Beverly Hills on the way to the Playmate of the Year ceremony.
The F-Type is just the latest of several emotive models from Jaguar, which is blossoming under its new owners, Tata Motors of India. At the same time, Playboy is on the cusp of a new era. With Hefner having reached old age, his son Cooper is starting to play a larger role.
Cooper Hefner, two weeks from his college graduation and dressed in a tailored suit with skinny tie that bespoke of the cocktail-cool image the brand is trying to portray, says it is a linkup of two companies “that are both classics” and that “have such a lineage.”
There sure was no mistaking the Jag-Playboy connection at the Playmate of the Year party. Jaguar arrayed several cars around the fountain in front of the chateau style mansion for the event, which attracted centerfold women from years — and decades — past. Most prominent, of course, was the red car being presented to Pomplun, who posed in front of the license plate reading PMOY 13 — Playmate of the Year.
Playboy officials couldn’t have been more pleased. Both the magazine and Jaguar appeal to the “modern American playboy” and “we can make heads turns and jaws drop.”
That’s exactly what Jaguar officials say they want.
Copyright © 2013 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.