Among North American Land Rover enthusiasts, the company’s 1980s and 1990s marketing campaigns are legendary. Land Rover was breaking onto the scene on the continent, and they created masterful campaigns full of safari vibes and Rule, Britannia! glory. These ads still paper the garage walls of many a Land Rover owner, and the ephemera of that era is in high demand. But often overlooked is Land Rover’s 2000s ad campaigns – the product of a company with more money, more of a footing in the global market, but still embracing the globetrotting element of the 1990s ads.
While the 1990s focused on print campaigns – Land Rover did not have a huge marketing budget to run big-dollar TV ads – the 2000s were a different era, both in the amount of money Ford’s marketing department had to back them, and the way that people consumed media. There aren’t a ton of 1990s TV commercials, and there also aren’t a lot of iconic 2000s print ads – what ads there were in magazines and newspapers were often more focused on lease and finance deals.
The most iconic campaigns from the 2000s might be the LR3 launch ads, two ads called “Edge” and “Split.” Both were set to the classic tune “Have Love, Will Travel” by 1960s Seattle garage band The Sonics.
Edge featured a dashing young driver taking his LR3 from his city parking spot, across South America, to the “edge of the world.”
Split featured LR3s that multiplied at every intersection.
A few years later, they'd run an ad called "The Single Guy," with an LR3 driver bringing a succession of women he'd met on travels around the world to various dinner parties.
One of the last Discovery 2 ads, called "Orbit," was a masterful piece of cinematography.
On the launch of the Range Rover L322 in 2004, there was "Hitchhikers," a testament to the life path that you have to take to buy a new Range Rover.
Even the Freelander had some great campaigns, before it left the American market in unreliable disgrace a few years later.
With broadcast television not as much a part of the ad sphere as it was 15 years ago, ads like this -- and the budget needed to make them -- are just about as much a relic of the past as those 1990s print ads. While you can't put these on your bathroom wall, the canon of 2000s Land Rover commercials is just as worthy of celebration as their prior campaigns.
Get the ROVERLOG Newsletter Delivered to your inbox
Sign up and receive once every 2 weeks
Adventure addict. '90s Land Rover daily driver. Historic preservationist. Personal vehicles: 1994 Discovery I, 1994 Range Rover Classic, 1961 Series II 109", 2005 LR3.