Campaign: Defender 90 Road to the Pro
Client: Land Rover
Media agency: Mindshare
Land Rover’s Defender 90 vehicle had reached saturation point among its traditional target audience of rural communities.
Due to its indestructible nature, the car is favoured by farmers, mining communities and the Army. Yet this strength actually posed a challenge: those that need one already had one and did not need a new one – particularly given the economic downturn within which we were operating.
As a result, Mindshare was tasked with creating a new Australian market for the Defender 90 and finding a way to connect with it.

We were tasked with launching the new Defender 90. The task, therefore, was to identify a new target and find a relevant and compelling way to connect with it.

With growth in rural communities ruled out, we looked to urban areas where SUVs (sport utility vehicles) often attract sales because of their fashion status rather than their off-road ability.
On city streets, we discovered the perfect new target market for the Defender – younger, image-conscious consumers, who use brands to project who they are. With an affordable $45,000 price tag, the new Defender 90 would be the car of choice for those who wanted to stand out from the crowd, yet valued authenticity.
With the Defender’s heritage, it already had credibility and authenticity as the ultimate off-roader. What we needed to add were the brand cues and personality to quickly connect with our new urban customers.
With 80 percent of Australians living within 130 kilometres of the sea and 50 percent of the country’s houses sitting fewer than 12 kilometres from a beach, it is little wonder that surf culture is part of our target’s make-up.
Surf represented something within which we could connect and it offered a unique space that none of our competitors were playing in.
The surfing angle fit perfectly with Land Rover’s ‘Go Beyond’ positioning: the best breaks to surf are often remote and can only be reached by overcoming difficult terrain. The Defender 90 easily enables you to reach the best breaks, away from the crowds, by overcoming such rough terrain – something most urban-based SUVs can only dream of.
To bring this to life in an engaging way we approached Quiksilver. It was a match made in brand heaven – Quiksilver had the elite surfers (and their fans) and we had the cars.
We gave six pro surfers four Defender 90s, in exchange for permission to create content featuring them.
Then we gave them the destination.
We identified the prestigious Quiksilver Pro Event, which kicks off the Association of Surfing Professionals Championship Tour every year, showcasing the best surfers in the world and attracting thousands of spectators.
Leveraging our pro surfers in the lead-up to this event would be when their following was at its highest.
Cue the ‘Defender 90 Road To The Pro’.

We created a two-week road trip up the east coast, with the best surfers blogging throughout and stopping off at some of the finest breaks, surf stores and Land Rover dealerships along the way.
We joined this ultimate road trip to create our own branded content to distribute as a series of short films. Each film featured the surfers and brought to life a different Land Rover brand value in a compelling way for our target – through their passion.
The destination was the 2010 Quiksilver Pro Event, presented by Land Rover.
Here, we had branding across the entire event and marketing collateral, naming rights to the ‘Heat Recap’ and ‘Wave of the Day’ segments and on-site signage. Our marquee at the beach housed the cars from the road trip for our target to see and they were enticed in by a chance to win a Kelly Slater-signed Defender 90 surfboard being given away each day at 3pm.
This event was broadcast to viewers through live online streaming, live broadcasts on Fuel TV, coverage on the Nine Network, One HD and Fox Sports.


With no sales promotions or any other activity in market, these results were generated purely by this campaign:

the event reached circa seven million Australian households, through TV and online
there were 1,559,879 visits to (average viewing time: 24 minutes)
there were 7,831,293 Defender 90 impressions on this site, generating 588 clicks through to the Land Rover site to immediately enquire about the new car
76,000 spectators attended the event
there were 10,980 visits to the ‘Defender 90 Road To The Pro’ site, and
4744 people became fans on Facebook.

there were 220,352 complete views of our Defender 90 short film content online, and
a further 81,146 completed video views on mobile (conversion rate three times higher than industry average).

Purchase intent:
mobile activity alone directly generated 1251 brochure requests and 1663 ‘call 4 info’ requests (user interaction with mobile four times higher than industry average)
2576 of our target signed up to find out more about the new Defender 90, and
test drive requests doubled over our campaign period.

within a week of the campaign finishing, all allocated Defender 90s for Australia sold out on pre-sales alone
sales target exceeded by 78 percent representing $1 million of sales above forecast, and
we achieved this by generating over $1 million of media value with a $300,000 budget.