We recently discovered this article from Brandweek/Adweek about a new marketing campaign for Land Rover that leaves a bad taste in our mouth. Ad agency Young & Rubicam Brands took the Land Rover LR3 to actual disaster areas and filmed it among the wreckage to create spots that present the SUV as a "hero car." The campaign's theme is called "Created for the one," the idea being that the Land Rover LR3 was designed to handle that one unexpected event like a snowstorm, flood or hurricane.

To film these spots, however, the production crew actually monitored where natural disasters were occurring in the U.S. and arrived on the scene to shoot the LR3 among the wreckage. Last month they were in Levasy, Missouri, which had just been hit by flooding. Y&R creative director Miles Turpin is quoted as saying, "When it snows big time, we'll go out and do that. And when hurricane season starts, we'll go there."

The agency is reportedly aware of potentially being judged as exploiting disasters, and will offer its vehicles to emergency personnel or, as it did in Missouri, make donations to relief organizations. In our opinion, that doesn't mitigate the fact a natural disaster that caused suffering in the lives of real people is being used as a backdrop to help sell Land Rovers.

To be fair, this article was written with the marketing industry in mind as an audience, not us. The agency, which is just doing its job, comes off as insensitive and exploitative to our ears, but a professional in the biz might think this idea is genius. And while it's a good thing that Land Rover may donate money or the use of its vehicles to aid disaster relief efforts as a result of this marketing campaign, that bad taste in our mouth comes from the fact that it likely wouldn't do those things if a camera weren't there to capture it.

[Source: Brandweek]