A tale of love, loss and the ‘greatest Valentines gift ever’

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To commemorate Valentine’s Day, Y&R and Land Rover took a heart-felt ‘Dear John’ listing on TradeMe and turned it into “the greatest Valentine’s Day gift ever for four Kiwi blokes”.

After spying a TradeMe listing in October of 2014 for the reluctant sale of a tired 1957 Series I Land Rover by four Otago Uni students the agency and its client saw an opportunity to mend a broken heart (and chassis).

The listing told of the many adventures had by Will, Jeremy, Anthony and James in their beloved Landy.

Y&R and Land Rover covertly purchased the remains of the legendary vehicle and over five months painstakingly restored Landy, in every detail, back to her former glory.

“When we came across the TradeMe ad, we loved the story behind the truck,” said Land Rover NZ marketing manager James McKee. “It was a heart-warming tale documenting the many journeys and epic stories this particular Land Rover has been part of and just how much the vehicle meant to these four mates.”

Y&R chief creative officer Josh Moore said the story compelled the team to do whatever they could to keep the legend alive. “We decided it was an amazing opportunity to help these guys continue their relationship with this iconic vehicle, so we bought it and restored it back to its former glory – replacing the broken bits with genuine Land Rover parts, while retaining some of the dents, dings and even recreating the bumper stickers that made it their Landy,” he said.

The four lads were totally oblivious of the restoration project until Saturday when the Valentine’s Day gift was revealed on national television via a 45 TVC. The commercial featured the newly restored Landy going on a whistle-stop tour of Central Otago revisiting some of the locations of significance as detailed in the TradeMe ad.

Every stage of the project from the covert purchase to the detailed restoration to the final reveal was captured using hidden cameras and the content will be pushed out through Land Rover’s local and global social media channels as well as owned assets such as Land Rover’s global magazine.

The campaign concludes with a full-page press ad of the lovingly restored Landy and appears in the NZ Herald on Saturday wishing the lads a happy Valentine’s Day. The TV work was produced by freelancers Sacha Moore (producer) and Ben Ruffell (director).

Josh Moore says the campaign serves as both a celebration of the love Land Rover owners share for the brand and a fitting tribute to an iconic vehicle. “The project has quite literally been a labour of love and we’re very proud of every aspect of the campaign,” he said.

“It’s all the more poignant given this year Land Rover celebrates the final year of production of the current Land Rover Defender model, the direct descendent of the Series 1 Land Rover.”

The Landy was restored by Tony Katterns and his team at Custom Metal Shapers in Auckland’s East Tamaki, specialists in the restoration of classic vehicles.

  • See the video and still images documenting the restoration process, including images of Landy in its original state, below:


Client: Land Rover New Zealand
Marketing Manager: James McKee
General Manager: James Yates
Agency: Y&R NZ 
CCO/CEO: Josh Moore
Associate CD: Tom Paine
Creatives: Josh Moore, Tom Paine
Account Director: Victoria Meo/Mel Marshall
Senior Account Manager: Mike Keen
Agency Head Producer: Christina Hazard
Online/Motion Graphics: Michael Frogley
Designers: James Wendelborn, Musonda Katongo
Planner: Jono Key
Media General Manager: Nicky Greville
Trading Director: Cath Hamilton
Business Director: Paul Hamilton
Social Community Manager: Laura Holyoake – Social Community Manager
Producer: Sacha Moore
Director: Ben Ruffell
DOP: Will Moore
Editor: Nathan Pickles
Colour Grade: Pete Richie
Music licensing for TV execution: Jonathan Hughes, Franklin Road
Original music composition online & cinema content: Pete Van der Fluit, Liquid Studios
Audio Post: Shane Taipari Franklin Road

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