Media: Strategy Analysis - Land Rover 'goes beyond' convention

Brand: Land Rover
Client: Julian Whitehead, brand communications director
Brief: Drive awareness of "Go Beyond"
Target audience: Land Rover admirers and consumers
Budget: Undisclosed

AGENCIES
Media: MindShare
Creative: Wunderman and Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R
Technology: Narrowstep

STRATEGY

Land Rover wanted to drive awareness of its "Go Beyond" positioning. The challenge was to overcome an increasing aversion to orthodox advertising and commercial clutter in the over-targeted car market, and do so in a way that would generate leads and encourage potential Land Rover consumers to interact with the brand.

The idea was to "go beyond" traditional print and broadcast advertising. The internet was already at the heart of Land Rover's communications strategy (accounting for 60 per cent of leads). To capitalise on this, Go Beyond TV was created - a media-first in the auto industry.

The broadband-based TV station acts both as an internal communications tool for the Land Rover network and as an external communications channel; driving awareness as well as generating loyalty among Land Rover consumers and admirers. The content is not solely car-centric but also exemplifies "going beyond" your personal boundaries and experiencing adventure in all forms.

Go Beyond TV can be found at www.landrover.com/gobeyond and can also be accessed via www.gobeyond.tv.

EXECUTION

TV MindShare Performance, which conceptualised the idea of Go Beyond TV, negotiated a contract with Narrowstep to develop the channel in line with the Go Beyond website. Six channels were created: Sports, Adventure, Culture, People, Places and Land Rover. All content is video-on-demand, putting the viewer in complete control and, for the more passive viewer, there is a rolling schedule of programmes.

Original content was produced from partners such as the G4 Challenge, Land Rover sponsorships (Born Free and Biosphere Expeditions) and Onelife magazine. Additional content was negotiated from external suppliers.

Via Land Rover VIP, celebrities, such as Maria Sharapova, Lawrence Dallaglio, Tim Henman and Michael Owen, were interviewed for their thoughts on what "Go Beyond" meant to them. The more tech-savvy or vehicle-oriented can access detailed information on Land Rover design and capabilities as well as advertising, and behind-the-scenes scoops.

The channel was launched via a live broadcast at the New York Motor Show and a second live broadcast from the London Motor Show coincided with the worldwide launch of the new Freelander 2. Downloadable and free-to-view trailers are also available on YouTube, Google Video and iTunes.- Cinema and Go Beyond film partnerships The first stage of above-the-line support is a cinema campaign playing a cut-down version of the Go Beyond film. It runs in UK cinemas until the end of September. Building intrigue, the captive audience is urged to discover the world of "Go Beyond" on the web.

In addition to the screen airtime, MindShare UK has also negotiated film partnerships with Vue Cinemas and The Times, The Sunday Times and Times Online film brand "Screen". A film screening programme will see selected films, in line with the Go Beyond theme, screened nationwide between now and May 2007. The Times titles will support this with a series of editorial and promotional activities.

These partnerships give Land Rover a high-profile presence at key international film festivals such as Venice and The Times bfi London Film Festival. The Times' Screen Unseen programme will also allow readers to preview films every month.

RESULTS

The campaign is on-going, but to date, viewers have spent on average 50 minutes watching and engaging with Go Beyond TV, which is nearly double the industry "dwell time" average. The website is also generating significant traffic, and contributions and PR worth more than £100,000 have been generated on the back of the launch.

THE VERDICT - Mark Holden executive planning director, PHD

This case study is a good example of communications planning. You take the brand proposition or the creative endline and you use this to create a property that can provide an audience with an engaging brand experience.

For those of you who won't read the words to the left, here's a summary. They created a broadband TV channel called Go Beyond TV. It features a broad range of documentary-based content with some celebrity interviews. The channel was launched at the New York Motor Show and the London Motor Show. The content was then used to create a cinema ad and create mini movies to play-out in selected cinemas. Finally, they brought in The Times, The Sunday Times and Times Online to support the activity.

This is a good case study because the media agency's thinking had a deep structural effect on the whole communications, creating a totally new property and then linking this into their mainstream marketing. However, there is no mention of how many people have or will tune in.

Identifying which sorts of formats will work best on internet protocol TV is going to be important. Early signs suggest people will use IPTV for information about specific areas of interest. This is good news for Go Beyond TV as the content is based around specific areas of interest. However, for a combination of reasons, the programmes are not being picked up by the major search engines. So the 20,000 people in August who searched for information about Costa Rica had no idea that there is a documentary about it ready to view, for free. Paid-for search marketing could be used here.

Stepping back from all of this, it is important to remember that this site is simply a means to an end. It's easy to get hypnotised by an idea and forget about why it was created: ROI. It might be too early to have any results, but it would be nice to know what the measures for success are. Otherwise, when the new marketing director takes over, these elements of the marketing plan may be the first to be culled, as often happens.

Assuming there is a commitment to build the channel by increasing visitors, and that there is an identifiable payback to the business, this is a nice piece of work that the media industry should be aware of.

Score: 4 out of 5.

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