Jaguar Land Rover tests immersive, adventure podcasts to drive a Discovery brand narrative into other cars

Jaguar Land Rover experiments with a binaural podcast

The minds at Jaguar Land Rover and Mindshare, having identified the car as the perfect environment to experiment with immersive podcasts, have produced the Discovery Adventures podcast to spread its brand ethos to fans, families and potential Land Rover owners.

The new story-driven podcast blends car adventures with educational sections, all embedded in an immersive audio experience where listeners can hear the noteworthy sounds of locations such as the Natural History Museum, Cheddar Gorge, and Saint Michael’s Mount in Cornwall.

There has been a significant investment in talent too with the cast including, but not limited to Hugh Skinner, Natalie Dormer, Alexander Armstrong, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Chris Packham, Neil Oliver, Lucie Green, three dog actors and BBC journalist Kate Silverton appearing as herself.

On the marketing front, there are measurable benefits for the brand, the seven episodes include intro and outro stings for the Land Rover Discovery. Further to this, Katie Munn, marketing strategy manager at Jaguar Land Rover, told The Drum that the Discovery range also serves as the “hero of the story” as the cast travel the land to solve a compelling mystery.

Munn said the podcasts position the Land Rover Discovery as an “enabler of adventure”, however, there’s also a desire to solidify the car as the centre of the family, the place where parents and children can enjoy the same media, mostly away from separate screens. A captive audience, and hopefully a captivated audience will hopefully get behind young Sam, his uncle, his dog and the friends they pick up on their journey to get to the bottom of who is scrambling GPS signals across the UK.

With high definition audio experiences, Land Rover hopes to immerse listeners in its cars and beyond: “Our cars have fantastic sound but these podcasts bring our brand into other peoples’ cars.” This provides a route for the brand to infiltrate other motor brands and really solidify Land Rover values.

Becky Power, creative director of Mindshare UK, explained the more technical aspects of the campaign, revealing that Triple Olivier award-winning sound designer, Gareth Fry was brought on board to ensure that the audio captured was as authentic and immersive as possible.

She said: "The podcast is immersive and inspiring people to get out, the binaural sound adds another another level of richness, it also has a very exciting story ark with the idea you can visit these places yourself.

Binaural content is best enjoyed with headphones or in relatively confined spaces, like that of a car, so the sound reaches the listener in the desired way. To ensure the integrity of the audio, each scene was recorded in-car, on location to be as true to reality as possible with the human-head shaped microphone, like the one below.

The future of podcasting at Land Rover is largely dependent on how this series performs, among other things, Power will be running pre-and-post campaign tracking through Neilson.

On delivering the podcast, campaign sound engineer Gareth Fry said: “Recording binaurally on-location gives us a real sense of panorama, of landscape and our place within it, because binaural microphones pick up everything around us. So it really allows us to imagine we’re part of the story, in the heart of the action. To feel like we're actually at the places we visit on our Adventures.

“There’s a lot of exciting technology emerging from the audio worlds of VR and video games. These platforms tend to be about allowing the listener to explore a world rather than necessarily experience a linear narrative. These allow people to be much more active agents in these stories.”

The gambit is leveraged on research that indicates that the car is a unique environment, a place of reduced distractions that allows for important quality time, the producers will hope this proves to be the case. The podcast runs in parallel to a campaign culminating in a TV ad, three social videos, and potential user generated content from those visiting the locations in the podcast or making their own adventures.

The series is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Acast.

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