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Marking the end of the Land Rover Defender with Defender Journeys

To mark the end of production of the iconic Series Land Rover & Defender models in January 2016, Connect, along with several other suppliers, worked with our client Jaguar Land Rover to bring to life an ambitious project known as ‘Defender Journeys’. 

The project consisted of a participative social campaign that allowed Defender owners and fans to celebrate the journeys they have completed and the memories those experiences created. Using the brand’s rich heritage in expeditions, Land Rover curated initial content with the rest of the content being user-generated, aiming to showcase hundreds of owners’ and fans’ journeys over a three-year period.

The USP of both the vehicle and the campaign was the ability to drive off-road on journeys and consequently to be able to ‘plot’ this using Google Maps. As the data was so complex, Google Maps specialist vendor gPartner were enlisted to aid in the technical architecture of the campaign and prove that the concept was technically possible. 

Having successfully proved the concept to Land Rover, Connect were tasked with building and developing the whole experience, the campaign also involved The Brooklyn Brothers who guided the original concept, Land Rover’s in-house Creative Agency Spark44 who would lead the web design, JLR’s data management provider Avoka and Enable – a specialist promotions agency who would moderate the content and liaise with users globally. 

The project was new ground for Land Rover as they had never before communicated personal tales from owners and fans on their main brand website. Using user-generated content in this way builds on previous projects Connect has delivered using technology to curate existing fan’s content from Instagram and other channels and present this on landrover.com.

Defender Journeys went live on the last day of production January 29th 2016 and thanks in part to the huge media hype surrounding the end of the Defender, the campaign picked up a lot of interest, with the first journey submitted just 4 hours after going live and 111 journeys submitted and approved within the first 22 days of the campaign. 

Ben Wiggins, Digital Marketing Manager at Land Rover said of the campaign:

“We are thrilled with the success of the Defender Journeys campaign. To date we've had nearly 400 unique moments and journeys submitted and we've been overwhelmed with the passion that our customers have for the vehicle. Bringing Google maps and social content in to the website required an integrated approach from multiple suppliers which was a challenge but one that resulted in a great user experience."