Land Rover Takes Scenic Air Route

LOS ANGELES Seeking to add some “authenticity” to its commercials in the age of computer-generated special effects, Land Rover today breaks a television spot showing the LR3 loaded aboard a Hercules C-130 transport plane and “navigating” a journey from Nice, France, to the isle of Corsica.

The 30-second teaser from WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam Brands, Irvine, Calif., is designed to drive viewers to a three-minute Web documentary about the feat, said Anthony DiBiase, executive creative director.

“Considering how important online investigation is to the purchase, we must work harder at integrated executions,” said DiBiase. “I’m ecstatic that it’s not just something added at the end, but conceptualized that way.”

In fact, eventual Land Rover buyers research the Internet well over 80 percent of the time first, said Sally Eastwood, vice president of marketing, Land Rover North America, Irvine. “It’s all about authenticity,” she said. “The idea is less about making a TV commercial than documenting something that happened in real time.”

Eastwood said print and outdoor would also drive viewers to the Web site documentary, which introduces the aviators and engineers who made the flight possible and shows how the LR3’s GPS with altimeter was tied into the C-130’s avionics. Eastwood said the documentary would likely wind up on “Go Beyond TV,” the automaker’s new Web-based TV channel [Adweek Online, April 14].

Land Rover spent $45 million advertising the LR3 last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. At 4,189 units, LR3 sales were down 9 percent over last year through March, per Car Concepts, Thousand Oaks, Calif.