Land Rover takes ‘big step forward’ with first digital-led campaign

Land Rover is using the launch of its new Discovery Sport model as a ‘catalyst’ to ‘take a big step forward’ with its marketing by running its first digitally-led campaign.

Video: Land Rover launches its new Discovery Sport model 


The launch marks the first time Land Rover has debuted a car online, having previously always unveiled its new models either at its own events or at a motor show. The new Discovery Sport was revealed in an online film featuring adventurers Sir Richard Branson, Bear Grylls and Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

It will continue online with the car marque asking consumers to create a 30-second video or image demonstrating their spirit of adventure. Land Rover will judge the entries, with the winner receiving a place for them and three of their friends on one of the first commercial trips into space as part of its long-term tie-up with Virgin Galactic.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Land Rover’s global PR director Gabi Whitfield, says it is shifting its marketing to invest more in digital in order to reach its target consumers, who are increasingly heading online to research car purchases. She admits Land Rover has faced challenges in rolling out a central strategy that would be consistent and effective across the 176 markets where it sells cars.

However, with Land Rover set to launch or update 50 models over the next five years, the launch of the new Discovery Sport marked the right time to “break conventions”, she says. The hope is that by focusing on digital and social Land Rover can introduce more consumers to the brand and build relationships with people that might not ever buy a Land Rover but are still fans of the brand.

“Much of what makes Land Rover special is down to the heritage and experience the brand and products create. In the past, this experience could only really be delivered face-to-face when test driving the car or visiting a showroom. Digital and social media channels change all of this. We can now create engaging content and experiences that build relationships not only with in-market and current customers, but with future customers and brand fans,” she says.

The launch has also seen the PR team working more closely with marketing and brand experience to create a fully integrated campaign. Whitfield admits the three divisions have previously acted in silos but that the growth of social media has meant the firm has had to adapt how it works.

The Brooklyn Brothers-created campaign also ties in with Land Rover’s “Above and Beyond” strapline which positions the brand around adventure, innovation and exploration as it looks to build on global sales success in 2013.

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