A new interactive film from Land Rover might be landing soon on a homepage near you. The automaker kicked off a digital media campaign this week, promoting the new film and upcoming 2014 Range Rover Sport with homepage takeovers and other interactive ads aimed at driving users to check out the vehicle in a part game, part film experience across desktop and mobile.
“Race the Sun” begins with a distinctly important sounding mobile phone ring, answered by a man in the middle of a rock climb, all the while wearing a most fashionable scarf. It’s a stretch, but things get interesting quickly as the man on the other end of the call sets off the challenge. “It’s your move. You have until sundown to make it.”
At this point viewers can become cross-platform players in the game by syncing their smartphone to be a game controller, complete with twists, turns, taps and tilts. Before users test their skills driving the car, they can experience a 360-degree view of the vehicle’s interior. Three subsequent games within the film are aimed at showcasing the vehicle in off-road situations, acceleration and handling.
“It’s unique for automotive in that people have done films in the past, but what we’re trying to do is combine film with interactivity to give that full experience and take advantage of the mediums where we know our consumer is,” says Kim Kyaw, digital marketing manager at Land Rover US.
"The film itself shows the capability of the vehicle, going from off-roading through the water or down a hill, or the on-road performance of driving fast down a desert highway, or around mountain curves for example. But the game element comes where we’re appealing to the mindset where they’re ambitious, they’re motivated, they’re capable, they accept challenges and we want them to accept this challenge,” she tells ClickZ.
“We want to appeal to that competitive nature of our target market,” Kyaw adds. “Once you add the game elements to it, that’s where the user can get the core messages of the vehicle by experiencing it themselves through live gameplay.”
“Race the Sun” was directed by Dante Ariola and developed by Y&R NYC and Wonderman NY with support from Stink Digital. The interactive film and ad buys are supporting a wider campaign that highlights the features and capability of the new vehicle in TV and print. Land Rover is buying ads on networks and direct from publishers like YouTube, ESPN, New York Times, Outside, Washington Post and Wired.
"Over 35 percent of our overall marketing budget is digital and that’s increased from 15 percent less than three years ago. So it’s changed significantly for Land Rover,” says Kyaw. "We are increasing the digital investment for Land Rover because of our affluent target and the move to where people start their shopping process for a new vehicle.”
The significantly smaller group of people that this vehicle is targeted against is “accomplished already, but they’re still striving, and they’re really driven, competitive, ambitious and passionate about what they do,” Kyaw explains. And with a starting price tag of $63,495, the 2014 Range Rover Sport is certainly for, as she puts it: “people who are in the game.”