Silver Spike

Case Film

Presentation Board

Product / ServiceAUTOMOTIVE
CategoryA06. Events & Experiential (incl. stunts)
EntrantY&R NZ Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Entrant Company Y&R NZ Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Advertising Agency Y&R NZ Auckland, NEW ZEALAND

The Campaign

When four Kiwi lads were confronted by the all-consuming responsibilities of adulthood, their first love - a 1957 Series One Land Rover, fell into disrepair. Reluctantly they listed her for sale online in the style of a heartfelt ‘Dear John’ letter. Land Rover New Zealand went above and beyond and covertly bought, restored, and road-tested the vehicle. We then conducted a surprise Valentine’s reunion via a bespoke TVC that aired just once. It instructed the four lads to collect the keys from our insider, then visit the garage out back to receive the greatest Valentine’s gift ever. The project was an instinctive response to the online auction - an opportunistic way to go ‘Above & Beyond’ for a group of loyal Land Rover fans, increase brand adoration, and target relevant media outlets to publicise the final production year of the iconic Land Rover Defender – the direct descendent of the Series One. The stunt was covered by New Zealand’s leading current affairs show for a Valentine’s special and was also used as the conclusion to our 3-minute online film. The film was distributed to countless media outlets with a press release informing them of the final year of Defender, reminding the world how much love there is for the iconic lineage.

The Brief

Research up front was non-existent, as the project was the result of an unforeseen opportunity. However, once commenced, we built our strategy around the idea of lost love. According to Google analytics and common sense, the most prominent time of year where love is the focus of conversation is Valentine’s Day. Once that was confirmed, our objectives were twofold. Firstly, to increase brand love for Land Rover by achieving substantial exposure and receiving positive sentiment for the film. Secondly, to raise awareness of the final year of Defender and ideally increase sales of the 2015 model.


Originally intended as a New Zealand only campaign, the content was picked up by 15 markets and translated into 4 languages. It gained 4 million+ views across all channels over Valentine’s weekend. Over 4.7m views across Facebook, 75,000 interactions, and 7.1m post reach. Cost per click was well-below Land Rover standard expected KPI of $0.04. It received 70% positive sentiment and less than 1% negative sentiment. Mashable achieved 3.01 mins of page dwell time (30% more than average), and impressions of 1,525,946 (almost twice the average). The campaign well exceeded client expectations and became the most watched Land Rover content piece ever. Defender sales were up 233%, four likeable kiwi lads were reunited with their first love, and curiously, thousands of grown men decided to chop onions while watching our film.


Once we got the go-ahead for the project, implementation occurred in the following order: covert purchase, vehicle restoration, road test, TVC / stills production, televised Valentine’s reunion, online content / PR launch, newspaper ad, cinema schedule. PR was a critical component. The launch on New Zealand’s leading current affairs show, 7Sharp, introduced the nation to the project, specifically mentioned the final year of Defender, and offered a refreshing male spin on Valentine’s Day. The stunt went better than we ever could have scripted, despite numerous factors beyond our control. Ongoing, the film was the emotive hook for media outlets both offline and online, and the press release detailed the final year of Defender. It’s a feelgood story about a few, that resonated with many – the idea of parting with a prized vehicle due to circumstance was widely identified with and created significant empathy. And ultimately a touch of jealousy.

The Situation

With tough safety regulations heralding its demise, 2015 signaled the final year of the Land Rover Defender. The listing of the Series One presented itself at the ideal time and gave us a unique opportunity to tell a charming story, reminding everyone how much these vehicles will be missed.

The Strategy

The initial target was the four unsuspecting guys, for whom the vehicle and the Land Rover brand clearly have huge significance. Creating a bespoke TVC and print ad just for them provided the project with an all-important personal touch. Our ultimate objective was always to use the charming background story as a platform to create entertaining, engaging content, directed at men around Valentine’s Day - a day traditionally geared towards women. The film did a fantastic brand adoration job, but it wasn’t the appropriate medium for a hard-sell message about the end of Defender. That’s where PR became a key component. The press release that accompanied the film made the ‘Final year of Defender’ message prominent, as did our launch segment on Seven Sharp the night before Valentine’s Day.


Name Company Position
Josh Moore Y&R New Zealand CEO & CCO New Zealand
Tom Paine Y&R New Zealand Associate Creative Director
Josh Moore Y&R New Zealand Creative
Tom Paine Y&R New Zealand Creative
Victoria Meo Y&R New Zealand Account Director
Mike Keen Y&R New Zealand Senior Account Manager
Christina Hazard Y&R New Zealand Head Of Production
Michael Frogley Y&R New Zealand Online / Motion Graphics
James Wendelborn Y&R New Zealand Designer
Musonda Katongo Y&R New Zealand Designer
Jono Key Y&R New Zealand Planning Director
Nicky Greville Y&R New Zealand Media General Manager
Cath Hamilton Y&R New Zealand Trading Director
Laura Holyoake Y&R New Zealand Social Community Manager
Sacha Moore Independent Production Company Producer
Ben Ruffel Independent TVC Director
William Moore Independent DOP
Nathan Pickles Independent Editor
Franklin Road Franklin Road Music Licensing and Audio Post
Liquid Studios Liquid Studios Original Music Composition