You may not automatically associate car manufacturing giant Land Rover with book publishing, but in a clever marketing move, they did exactly that to publicise the adventurous character of its product line to the digital community. The brand recently turned their hand to e-publishing with ‘The Vanishing Game’, a new interactive, digital book written by acclaimed British author William Boyd.
The mini-novel, which was commissioned by Land Rover, tells the story of a 35-year-old British actor named Alec Dunbar and the troubles he encounters when a pretty young woman convinces him to deliver a flask filled with clear liquid from London to Scotland.
Dunbar’s chosen method of transport is of course a battered old Land Rover Defender and the story quickly unfolds into a dangerous plot with a shadowy cast of characters.
Boyd was given total liberty to invent with the story, but was told it would be nice ‘if a Land Rover was mentioned’. He therefore decided to make the Land Rover “an inherent presence in the story, something always there – implicit, strong, solid, reliable, ready to function”.
The story is available as a free e-book from Amazon and Apple, and is also being offered as an interactive reading experience on Tumblr. This version of the story is augmented with graphics, videos, sound, music and narration, and to reinforce the Land Rover brand further, the story includes snippets of journeys from actual Land Rover owners, which appear when readers scroll over particular words or passages. For example, when a user selects the keyword ‘river’, they will see video footage of a Land Rover crossing a remote waterway in the Scottish Highlands, or a real-life story from a Land Rover user.
The experience is fully interactive, allowing readers to turn its various multi-media functions on and off throughout the experience. Readers can engage with the story on Tumblr through desktop, mobile and tablet devices, and will be encouraged to share its content across multiple social platforms.
Land Rover is promoting The Vanishing Game with a multi-media marketing campaign, with integrations that further enhance reader engagement and interactivity. They will expand the story with custom content and paid posts about Alec Dunbar and his adventures on media, including Vox Media, Quartz and NYTimes.com.
Digital music sharing service Spotify have also created a custom playlist inspired by Alec’s journey and the exploration and adventure evoked by Land Rover vehicles.
The Vanishing Game is also being promoted with custom, interactive ad experiences and heavy social amplification on Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter.
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