It’s the luxury brand publishing campaign that proves the power of user-generated content and media partnerships to engage users. Samantha Waterworth explores…
Author-brand partnerships are unusual, but not unprecedented. When Jaguar Land Rover set out to explore this terrain a little over two years ago, however, the end result was a dynamic, unanticipated mix of user-generated content and luxury brand publishing which continues to boast success some years on.
Commissioning best-selling author and Booker Prize nominee William Boyd to produce an original adventure novella, the brand set out to make luxury brand storytelling a reality.
Whilst the novella – “The Vanishing Game” – was published in print, it was the online version that undoubtedly made its mark. Accessible via the brand’s Tumblr, the novella presents a fully interactive digital experience utilising narration, ambient sound and animated photography.
Clickable copy launches video content showcasing a variety of experiences – available to the reader at will. One need only click the word “river” to be transported to interactive content of a car crossing a lonely waterway.
User-generated content from Land Rover owners is also embedded throughout the site. These insights were then curated by the brand via the #WellStoried hashtag, launched in 2014.
With the hashtag achieving global success, the brand chose to launch a corresponding microsite – Well Storied.
Executed in collaboration with integrated advertising agency Y&R, the creative partnership led to a unique end result. “We gave him [Boyd] free reign to tell the story he wanted and feature any Land Rover vehicle he wanted,” executive account director at Y&R, Mark Sobier, said recently.
“This makes it more of a true commission, rather than product placement or sponsorship. If an artist’s freedom is respected, I think these types of projects would be more appealing to them.”
It would seem he’s right. Boyd recently made the following statement:
One of the collateral pleasures of writing ‘The Vanishing Game’ was that it made me realise how prominently Land Rover has featured in my life—in Africa and Britain—to an almost mythic degree.
I remember as a boy being driven in a Land Rover through tropical rain forest to the Volta River in Ghana to fish for freshwater barracuda. And, as an even younger boy, climbing into my Uncle Ronnie’s Land Rover, the Scottish day dawning, as we went out to feed the sheep on his farm. A Land Rover is part of the mental geography of almost every British person, I believe. Consequently, to be asked to write a story in which a Land Rover features was immensely appealing, almost an act of homage.
Kim Kyaw, head of digital, social, and CRM for Jaguar Land Rover North America, said the novella was an Amazon bestseller – generating 100,000 e-book downloads and improving the brand’s search ranking for the keywords “heritage” and “innovation”.
“Land Rover is a really storied brand,” Kyaw said. “‘The Vanishing Game’ told the story of its spirit of adventure in a new and modern way.”
Check out some more Jaguar Land Rover Content: