Celebrating a lifetime of Defender on the African continent

Posted: June 20, 2015

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The Land Rover Defender story is a rich tapestry of adventures that have come to pass on the African continent over the last 67 years, starting with the Series I in 1948.

In 2015, Land Rover South Africa embarked on a journey to immortalise the heritage vehicle and to celebrate a rich legacy of collective anecdotes and stories with the #CelebrateDefender campaign.

This three-phased integrated tribute campaign to the ‘go-anywhere’ vehicle, conceptualised by Y&R South Africa’s Johannesburg office, launched earlier in May with a call for authentic stories and photographs from the public to share their experiences with their Defender on the celebratedefender.com website.

“The Defender stories were narratives that were waiting to be told – we simply provided the proverbial canvas,” says Graham Lang, Chief Creative Officer of Y&R South Africa. “We now have the privilege of sharing these accounts with the loyal Land Rover owners and with the nation.”

Lang refers to the second and third phases of the project, where the best of the submissions were revealed nationwide earlier this month, as the campaign artwork on paid media channels, i.e. the personal stories were rolled out across, print, online, and outdoor. According to Rui Alves, ECD of Y&R SA’s Johannesburg office, “these executions include actual and authentic photographs, footage and stories shared – from trekking on a Namibian beach on an overcast day, to snapping the view close to the edge of a cliff high in the Sani Pass, to refueling at a forlorn hand pump in the heart of Malawi.”

The final phase will immortalise these stories by collating them into a coffee table book, amongst other executions. The book will be launched at the end of the year, when one special expedition Defender will be auctioned off and proceeds will be donated to Land Rover’s corporate social responsibility initiatives.

“Defender owners always have interesting stories, and best of all they love to share them – it’s one of the things that makes the Land Rover brand so unique,” added Lisa Mallett, Marketing Director: Jaguar Land Rover SA and SSA. “The #CelebrateDefender campaign is a great campaign that connects a brand and agency directly to consumers themselves, working together to celebrate a beloved legacy.”