Land Rover: Fear, Safety, The Office And No Diesel Hybrid

May 24, 2010

When you think of Land Rovers, certain images naturally come to mind. Windswept peaks, massive sandy dunes, rock-strewn trails, snowy fjords and the wild jungles of Borneo. Land Rover has spent decades cultivating this image of ruggedness, go-anywhere ability and serious upper class looks--as has the advertising to reinforce this image. Or so I thought until I realized it's the urban jungle they are targeting.

So when I went looking for great ads and images of Land Rovers, what kept coming up on searches wasn't actually those images I mentioned above, but something different. The hot topic, the one that's all the rage--diesel hybrids. And I thought, has the world changed so much? Is Land Rover all about being green and friendly and leaving a smaller carbon footprint? Is it all about being serious now? Maybe not. There may be hope yet and I think this completely off the wall ad is proof.

Out of the blue, I found the best Land Rover ad I have ever seen on and it was a brilliantly funny ad--and I stress funny, because this was the opposite of those diesel hybrid stories and green ads. It was the opposite of the crawl down the sand dune, across the African savanna, and up the Himalayas typical Land Rover ad. It wasn't serious. No, it was sheer genius humor and it made me like the brand (and oddly the vehicle) and through its humor understand it that much more.

After you have watched the ad and laughed (and secretly jumped back in horror) at the utterly insane guy who needs his swords and daggers to feel safe at work, you realize a few things about what makes this Landy ad so great.

Great acting and great dialog make a great ad. I loved it when the nutty guy says with a straight face, "not the daggers" and the boss replies "all that crazy people stuff has to go"--with the camera focused squarely on the Land Rover. In that car, I'd feel safe delivering that message too. You're above it all, out of the office.

The boss is your classic gray-suited senior management boss, seems nice on the outside, but is a mean coward on the inside, who has to retreat to his four-wheeled castle to deliver the bad news to the employee. He is the target market for this vehicle.

Land Rover gets the message across in no uncertain terms. In your Landy you are safe from the urban jungle, where the vast, vast majority of their owners will let these vehicles roam. It's a tank in an urban setting, a garage. There, the manager who plays golf on weekends and lays off staff on weekdays while he meets his sales goals can feel safe and while the crazy guy with the daggers and swords that no one in the office dares to piss off for fear of losing a limb stays at a safe distance.

There, the Land Rover man can be safe and be the king, and be happy.

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