The British auto industry tends to be synonymous with sexy shapes, leather, wire wheels, sumptuous interiors and square, off-road vehicles that you can carry a passel of corgis in while hunting fox, pheasant and poor village folk.
The last reference is obviously to Land Rover, the makers of perennially rectilinear, mostly unreliable and very capable vehicles purchased by people with large sums money, either due to successful business practices, shady ethics and a wad of cash, proper royal lineage or a recent million-selling rap record by a guy with a monster criminal record and tattoos. While the purchasers of these vehicles vary in terms of character and substance, Land Rover the manufacturer, and in particular the brand, has always had a strong sense of image, namely how the vehicles should be perceived and how it makes the owners feel more regal with a quiet sense of self and an unspoken strength.
But now comes this ad for the 2011 Land Rover Freelander (sold here as the LR2), and our British friends have decided to take a different approach to selling their vehicle, a soft, malleable and funny one at that. And uniquely British I’d say. They have gone the Wallace and Gromit route and used claymation. Many advertisers and branding experts probably would scoff at this childish approach but it is anything but. In fact, it's a great break from the norm of bounding over rocks and driving over the homeless on the way to the club. I'd say it's inspired.
There is that great, dry sense of humor, the British penchant for the absurd, not unlike a Monty Python skit, or better yet, maybe a Stephen Fry sketch. When you watch the commercial, you are actually taken in by the animation and less by the message of what the Freelander can really do. Being a huge fan of almost anything animated, I was entranced by the complex contortions and metamorphoses of the characters.
It really gave me a laugh and showed that Land Rover aren't afraid of trying a new approach to marketing a very traditional brand. Watch the video below, and if you go to the link, you can see how they actually created this wonderful feat of animation.