The Ford brand is launching a broadband video destination focused on adventure.
Ford Motor Company's Land Rover is delving into broadband video and user-generated content, launching a Web destination designed to build its brand among adventure-seeking consumers globally.
The new site, called Go Beyond, is currently available via the main Land Rover site, though the company expects to eventually give it its own URL. Content consists of videos that reside in six channels: places, people, adventure, sport, culture and Land Rover. Some of the content ties into the brand's upcoming adventure race, the Land Rover G4 Challenge, while other videos include interviews with celebrities and lifestyle features. The company has culled programming from the Discovery Channel, the Royal Geographical Society and Biosphere Expeditions, though it also has produced some original content.
Eventually, Land Rover plans to invite its audience to submit videos that fit into the "spirit of adventure" theme, Steve Hobbs, editor of Go Beyond, told ClickZ News.
"The ultimate ambition of the site is that it'll become interactive so that real people will be able to upload their experience of adventure," he said. "Obviously people can just read the content but I hope and I believe that people will want to participate. This is a site that's about people. It's not about cars."
Hobbs comes from a magazine editorial background, having worked at GQ and done freelance work in other lifestyle-oriented publications.
Land Rover is starting fairly small with the site, but it has big ambitions. It's beginning with a focus on the U.S. and the U.K. with English-language content, but it intends to roll out in other languages next year. It's also starting out solely with streaming content, but it expects to make it available for download and viewing on video iPods and Sony PSPs.
The site launches with four hours of content, and will be updated monthly with four new hours. In addition, the company will conduct live Webcasts from special events such as the Land Rover G4 Challenge and auto shows. Technology driving Go Beyond TV comes from Narrowstep, which operates more than 70 global broadband channels.
In keeping with the branding objective of the site, each video begins with a Land Rover branding message, and some end with conventional television ads.
The company isn't making dramatic efforts to drive traffic to the site, initially, hoping that the 500,000 people that visit LandRover.com monthly will check it out and spread the word. After the site's first six months, the company will consider promoting it. Currently, there are no plans to distribute the content by any means other than the Web site itself.
Hobbs says that Land Rover hasn't set a time limit on how long the video channel will remain active, but says "This is an integral part of the way Land Rover will present itself to the world."
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Pamela Parker is a former managing editor of ClickZ News, Features, and Experts. She's been covering interactive advertising and marketing since the boom days of 1999, chronicling the dot-com crash and the subsequent rise of the medium. Before working at ClickZ, Parker was associate editor at @NY, a pioneering Web site and e-mail newsletter covering New York new media start-ups. Parker received a master's degree in journalism, with a concentration in new media, from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.
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