Why Automotive Brands Are Embracing Custom Branded Content For Television

Companies are bringing ‘digital thinking’ to traditional media, raising the bar for their competitors and across industries.

Brands are working more closely with media partners than ever before; we’re seeing this spike in both the worlds of publishing, and television, as well as across the media landscape. To launch their new Range Rover Sport, Land Rover teamed up with FOX to develop custom branded TV content. The show aired October 6th and was followed by a Twitter Q&A the following day to convey what it felt to undergo the challenge behind the wheel of this new vehicle. Check out the video below to learn more about the challenge and scroll down to get the story behind the partnership in our interview with Ken Bracht, Land Rover USA’s Communications Manager.

Tell us about how the idea for ‘DRIVEN: A Race without Boundaries’ was developed.

We wanted to get the word out about the increased breadth of capability as well as several of the new features of the all-new Range Rover Sport. It can be a complicated story because we have so much to talk about with the new design. Land Rover has been known for its off road prowess since the first Series 1 rolled off the assembly line in 1948, but the new Range Rover Sport has elevated its on road handling characteristics to challenge the best from Germany.

We also wanted to partner with a platform that could showcase key features with content that would be engaging to automotive enthusiasts and have genuine pass-along value. Fox Sports 1, formerly SPEED TV, has a built-in audience of auto enthusiasts. They also have experience producing and directing custom programming. When we approached them, they quickly grasped what we were trying to accomplish and elevated the content to a quality level that was first and foremost, entertaining. They also had access to great talent including Tiff Needell, Andy Green, Rhys and Rod Millen and, of course, Tommy Kendall.

How does Land Rover think about partnerships when it comes to TV. How do you leverage other digital/analog touch points to reinforce what you do on TV.

We briefed a number of our best partners and took them through the brand, our audience and what we were trying to accomplish. We looked at dozens of ideas before we selected a handful. We live by the mantra of ‘do it right or don’t do it’ and that sometimes takes a significant investment. Content integration isn’t always done well. The content has to be entertaining and organically showcase the brand. If it feels like an infomercial, you’ve failed. Consumers see through that and move on.

We also leveraged this content with a live chat on Twitter with Tommy Kendall and plan to make this content available on our owned channels: landrover.com and Land Rover USA on YouTube.

How can TV brands build their existing services to better cater for the emerging needs of brands?

TV brands already have built in audiences and access to talented directors, producers and creative talent. We feel that TV brands should be true to who they are when producing content and seek out partnerships where there is a genuine fit – or walk away. The ultimate product has to serve both brands well to be successful.

What’s a trend that makes you optimistic about the future of transportation?

I think the drive to get better fuel economy and fewer emissions is a trend that will continue and also motivate manufacturers to continue to invest in lightweight technology. To accomplish this, Jaguar Land Rover has invested in aluminum body structures to make our vehicles lighter while maintaining or increasing their strength. However, the lightweight technology has the added value of making Land Rover vehicles more fun to drive. The decrease in weight is like putting a bigger engine in the car, with better brakes and better handling. Some car enthusiast fear the sun is setting on cars that are fun to drive, but I think it’s the dawn.

Thanks Ken!

Range Rover Sport

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