Land Rover

A water-reactive mailing drove exceptional sales


Land Rover replaced the old Discovery (LR4) with a brand new alternative New Discovery (LR5) in 2016. The new product positioning was a step above its predecessor in terms of both perceived luxury and price. Softer lines and a sweeping roofline compromised the utilitarian design that was widely loved. As a result, some alienated LR4 owners would go on to keep their vehicle beyond their usual purchase cycle or worse, defect from the brand in favour of Land Rover's competitors.

2019 saw the release of the New Land Rover Defender, seen by many as the true successor to LR4, combining utilitarian design with modern luxury. 
Land Rover was then faced with the task of demonstrating Defender's go-anywhere do-anything credentials - enabled by the latest in pioneering off-road technology and design. Customers should not fear change but embrace it.

Land Rover knew they had to get this cynical audience to test drive the New Defender if they were going to convert.


The target audience had some big barriers that needed to be overcome – particularly that with the new, luxurious upgrade, the Defender had ‘gone soft’.  To combat this, Land Rover invited the target audience to an unmissable Land Rover Experience to prove that the New Defender was more capable than ever.

And an even bigger barrier was contacting this audience at all, because drivers were not only disenfranchised with the new Land Rover but also with email communications about it.  Unsubscribes were high, resulting in 3 times fewer people contactable by email than post within the target audience. Based on this information Land Rover and their agency Edit chose to prioritise mail as the invitation channel for this campaign. It would not only cut through but also allow them to bring to life one of the car’s key points of difference in a way that was impactful, tangible and memorable.

As the most capable Land Rover ever, New Defender was built to take on any challenge, including extreme wet weather. So why shouldn't the mailing too?

On the outside, the pack started by asking prospects if they were ready to put the New Defender through its paces against the elements.  Inside, Land Rover dramatised its class-leading 900mm wading capability.

The magic happened when you got the mailing wet. Recipients were invited to "Just add water" Using water-reactive hydrochromic ink printed on rugged, submersible paper their Defender experience started.

After running it under a tap, an exclusive invitation to test drive the Defender at the Land Rover Experience was revealed. If the text disappeared on the mailing, customers could simply wet it again. This could be done multiple times, with the mailing - which also used water-resistant adhesive - remaining intact. It could even survive a bucket of water!

A QR code and fallback URL enabled each customer to seamlessly navigate to the booking form; first of all to choose from one of nine experience locations across the country, then to explore time and date availability.

To help convert customers to purchase, Land Rover’s integrated systems would, upon customer attendance, create a lead and share with a customer's local retailer for follow up, with a brief audience bio to help understand how customers had been qualified. Customers would then be called within two hours of attending the event to talk about their experience and any next steps.


Asking drivers to ‘Just add water’ whetted their appetites for more.

The campaign was successful at driving engagement and event attendance, with 1,096 prospects making a booking, filling all the available spaces for the event - a 22% response rate, at a cost-effective £1.88 per pack (plus driving experience cost).

The outcome was that the campaign sold 147 cars, compared with a target of 85 car sales, generating an ROI of 29:1


Source: DMA Award Winner, Automotive, 2021

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