LOS ANGELES — Land Rover revealed the 2020 Land Rover Defender at an auto show event that included a performance by John Mayer.
The Grammy Award-winning artist is partnering with the brand on a project that will be featured in The Atlantic.
Mayer will travel naturalist John Muir’s route through U.S. national parks next summer, Kim McCullough, Jaguar Land Rover marketing vice president, tells Marketing Daily. The singer-songwriter is a fan of communing with nature, she says.
“He often takes his Defender out to Joshua Tree,” McCullough says. “I think when things have a more natural connection, the audience can feel that and it just feels more authentic.”
The project will be a social, digital and print effort, McCullough says.
“What’s important is why the connection is there,” she says. “He’s a Defender fan and owns multiple Defenders. We try to always do things that have a genuine, deeper connection than just paying for someone to show up.”
National parks are used a lot in marketing, but this is a different approach, she says.
“I think taking it from [Mayer’s] perspective and also the relationship he already has with our brand, will put a little bit different of a spin on things,” McCullough says.
At the auto show event, former Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, Olympic gold medalist hockey player Meghan Duggan, Olympic snowboarder Chris Corning and Marcus Wainwright, CEO of fashion brand Rag & Bone, were in attendance to celebrate the U.S. debut of the vehicle.
The Land Rover-sponsored 4xFAR live music festival in January will combine musical performances with adventure experiences, offering consumers the first opportunity to experience the luxury SUV, including on a 15-acre test track, McCullough says.
The festival will include athlete and ambassador programs from Land Rover partners including professional volleyball player Gabby Reece and big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton, the United States Equestrian Federation and U.S. Ski & Snowboard.