Defender House

JLR Canada

Land Rover Canada created an exclusive brand oasis, North America's first Defender House, during Canada's largest music festival, offering VIP programming and luxurious experiences for Defender owners and guests, resulting in a remarkable 96% satisfaction rate. This initiative effectively showcased the Land Rover Defender's off-road capabilities and celebrated its enduring legacy as a symbol of exploration and boundless possibilities.

SCOPE OF WORK
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Concierge Services
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Logistics Management
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VIP Experiences
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Brand Partnerships
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Print Design
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Event Design
Experiential
Creative
Digital
Social & PR
Brand Partnerships

Background

Music festivals are among the most culturally relevant moments of the summer. They provide a lifetime of memories for fans and an excellent opportunity for brands to engage with customers and meet new ones. Based on Land Rover's experience in the U.K. creating an elevated experience adjacent to the epic Glastonbury Music Festival, our client wanted to create an inspired festival oriented on this side of the pond.

Knowing that many who crave being part of the moment also crave an elevated experience, we were given a mandate to create a luxurious brand oasis for Defender guests; VIP festival programming; and a compelling way to engage with concertgoers at the festival who may not have been invited or able to participate in our Defender House or VIP programming.

Areal view of a Land Rover Defernder SUV driving through a mud pit
View of the entire spa from the entrance with the Defender House Spa signage
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Challenge

With spending down during the pandemic, it had been a few years since we worked with the new team at JLR Canada. With less than 5 weeks to turn around the concept, our greatest challenge was the time necessary to calibrate, create the experience, negotiate contracts, build the programming, and deliver success during Canada’s largest music festival.

Challenge

With spending down during the pandemic, it had been a few years since we worked with the new team at JLR Canada. With less than 5 weeks to turn around the concept, our greatest challenge was the time necessary to calibrate, create the experience, negotiate contracts, build the programming, and deliver success during Canada’s largest music festival.

Areal view of an elegant table setting featuring Defender House menu
Overview of outdoor spa with hot and cold pools and trees
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Solution

Music festivals are among the most culturally relevant moments of the summer. They provide a lifetime of memories for fans and an excellent opportunity for brands to engage with customers and meet new ones. Based on Land Rover's experience in the U.K. creating an elevated experience adjacent to the epic Glastonbury Music Festival, our client wanted to create an inspired festival oriented on this side of the pond.

Knowing that many who crave being part of the moment also crave an elevated experience, we were given a mandate to create a luxurious brand oasis for Defender guests; VIP festival programming; and a compelling way to engage with concertgoers at the festival who may not have been invited or able to participate in our Defender House or VIP programming.

Our programming centred on Canada’s largest music festival Boots and Hearts, a multi-day music festival held each August that is one of the largest country music events in the world. This year featured amazing performances by artists including Tim McGraw, Dallas Smith, Nickelback, and Keith Urban, to name a few.

Amidst the energy of the outdoor festival, we opened the doors to North America’s first-ever Defender House — a sanctuary of relaxation just minutes away from 120,000 other concertgoers. Nestled within the Finnish-inspired Nordic day spa Vettä is one of the largest wood-burning saunas in the world and for this weekend was re-imagined as Defender House. Immersion in the Defender lifestyle included programming crafted exclusively for Defender owners and special guests. Complimentary hydrotherapy, massage, yoga in the forest, mindful meditation and sound baths, farm-to-table culinary options served throughout the day, and complimentary shuttles to and from the music festival. During the Friday evening, retailers invited select customers for a culinary experience that, after the final course, included Defender shuttles to the concert to enjoy Nickelback stage left in the Defender VIP Suite. On Saturday evening, SHARP Magazine was invited to co-host style consultations, scotch whisky tastings, and a long weekend of fine dining dishes paired with organic Canadian wines. At the conclusion of their dining experience, Defender shuttles ushered them to the festival where they were welcomed to the Defender VIP Suite enjoying Keith Urban.

Defender House branding included custom signage and specially fabricated faux-concrete benches, blocks, and planters that added a brutalist vibe to complement the structured lines of the vehicle. For a select few, they were invited to an overnight experience in one of the Defender rooftop tents — where under the starlit sky they could bask in the lap of luxury.

But what would our celebration of the Land Rover Defender be without an off-road adventure? For that, the team at Sea2Summit Experiences curated a course on festival property through a forested area that was designed to showcase the off-road capabilities of the Land Rover Defender. Featuring almost a metre of wading depth, cameras to enhance ground visibility, hill descent control and a terrain response system with modes for gravel or snow, rock crawling, and mud and ruts, the vehicle is a fantastic off-roader. The course showed guests how to take a Defender above and beyond.

Land Rover Defender signage at Boots and Hearts Festival with crowd
JURA Whisky on table
Defender Sigange inside Spa with crowd
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Results

We delivered compelling VIP programming, adventurous test-drive experiences, and modern luxury experiences within a unique space.

visibility among

120,000

festival attendees

VIP programming for

518

Defender House guests

202

VIP Suite guests

90

executive dinners

265

on-road drive experiences

This program was not just an event but a tribute to the enduring legacy of the Land Rover DEFENDER — a vehicle that inspires exploration and evokes a sense of boundless possibility.

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