Land Rover started off not long after World War II when a farmer in the UK stripped a battered army jeep and decided to build something more appropriate. 65 years on and the cars are certainly a whole heap more luxurious, but the brand hasn't forgotten its roots, and Big Communications is showcasing this evolution with a new campaign that has given the international creative a local twist.
The campaign is not specifically celebrating the 65th birthday (check out this story in Adweek that shows how it went from a safari wagon to a premium SUV), but Big's creative director Joe Holden says it is celebrating the fact that, unlike many other brands like BMW and Porsche that now offer premium SUV models, Land Rover has been focused on making off-road vehicles from the beginning.
"If you hold up the old and the new, you can see the bloodlines," he says. "And that was the essence of the idea."
Because Holden says New Zealand has a particularly special relationship with the brand due to our farming heritage (Holden himself grew up on a farm and spent plenty of time in the trusty Land Rover), the campaign was localised, with images of school girls, kayaks, tinnies, skis, sheep and dogs shot and then added in.
The line was also changed slightly from 'It's in the Blood' to 'They're in our blood'. And the simple comparison of old vs. new works particularly well as an outdoor concept.
The campaign also includes print advertising that talks about how Land Rover and New Zealand have grown up together, a website, and an iPad advertising campaign, which allows users to hover over images and compare the specs of a modern vehicle with the rugged older versions.
Obviously the big beasts are much better appointed than they used to be and appeal to a different, more urban driver, but Holden says where it came from is a huge part of its brand story and while it's unlikely an Evoque will be used to pull a cow out of a bog, it still offers the Defender for the true adventurers.
Big has been working on the Tata-owned, Motorcorp-distributed Land Rover account for around a year. It also handles the Jaguar account (it took both brands off the now-defunct Publicis Mojo and Motorcorp's other brands Renault and Volvo went to Federation).
Big also works with Skoda.