Monday, February 11, 2008

Range Rover’s Ad Campaign Recycles Nissan and Raises The Bar

Many SUV brands face a challenge. Most drivers won’t use the vehicles for what they were built to do. The vast majority will stay on road rather than venture off.

The trick for marketers is to figure out how to showcase capabilities in a relevant way that heightens appeal despite the fact that most likely won’t ever be used.

One strategy has been to promote a distinct attitude or mindset that aligns with the character of the brand to foster strong affiliation and therefore confirmation desire.

Nissan’s Pathfinder
campaign in 2000 was one good example. The SUV’s were featured in a variety of implausible yet possible situations: one ascending a ski slope, another navigating a steeplechase course and a collection of Pathfinders playing polo (rather than horses). “Not that you would but you could” was the rallying cry. It was an inventive solution to exactly the challenges outlined above.

Print copy closed with a similar theme: “…..So, while you may never storm Pikes Peak or own the passing lane in Munich, isn’t it nice to know you could?”

More recently Range Rover does a nice job of using this strategy. It does more than serve up a fresh interpretation. As an SUV distinctly in the premium class, the campaign ensures the prestige and luxury appeals are elegantly delivered.

At rising tide, few of its owners may ever drive to Mont-Saint-Michel – or possibly escape – but as the copy notes, the fortunate ones have the privilege of an extra half an hour for passage. If you listen intently you can almost hear in the wind crossing the flats….not that you would, but you could.

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