Read, Learn and Digest

Read, Learn and Digest

Y&R Dubai, the people responsible for the media glorification of Land Rover in the Middle East have come up with a novel idea this week by offering customers a Landy branded survival guide that can be eaten. Made of potato starch and the kind of culinary black magic one would more usually associate with Heston Blumenthal the book is claimed to offer a nutritional boost similar to that of a cheeseburger. Although as most cheeseburgers available on the average high street contain less dietary benefits than the packaging they are served in, this is perhaps a reasonably modest boast.

But up to the point of consumption, the book also offers all kinds of helpful hints with regard to survival in the Arabian wilds – camping, hunting and other such acts of Bear Gryllsishness – should you happen to find yourself suddenly stranded. Which is perhaps just a teensy bit of a publicity gamble; after all if you were the manufacturer one of the world’s most prestigious off-roaders, surely you wouldn’t want to be drawing attention to the fact that a little jolly into the desert behind the wheel of said off-roader is likely to end so badly that you will be compelled to eat a book?

Nevertheless, the marketing ploy seems to have gone down very well and as such it can only be a matter of time before the book becomes the de rigueur marketing tool for all of Land Rovers’ global territories. And that’s great for other barren, inhospitable lands in which owners of newly incapacitated Landys are likely to be immediately facing a harsh environment, deadly creatures and the risk of attack by locals who don’t fully grasp the pleasantries of Western civilisation – Australia for example – but I can’t help worrying that one or two man points may be lost when it comes to penning the New Zealand edition.

Goes down well with a Sheikh

Now I know that there are some rural areas where it can be an absolute bugger to get a mobile phone signal and I doubt it would be very pleasant having to spend a night up one of the higher mountains in South Island without the proper thermal underwear, but in all honesty the chances of facing either of those predicaments as the result of a Land Rover breaking down are somewhere between slim and zero. That’s not to say I have any great faith in Land Rover to suddenly reverse their woeful historical record in reliability surveys, but rather that I’m pretty damn confident no-one who bought one would even consider going anywhere so inhospitable in the first place.

Land Rovers have come a long way from their humble, working roots. Designed as a utilitarian, go-anywhere tool, they have evolved into a style icon for people who want to show the world that they have really made it in life. These are people who are far too busy dropping the children off at horse riding lessons or dashing to their next pilates session to be forging a trail into the wilderness. And even if there was time, apparently the wilderness doesn’t come with the option of a business class upgrade, which simply won’t do.

Providing such people with a book on the art of survival would be as much use as giving a dartboard to a fish and therefore Land Rover will have to tailor their tome to suit the local market. How to survive when the local delicatessen is closed and you only have access to a Pak n’ Save, finding your way back to Remuera without the aid of a GPS and how to signal for assistance when it’s too noisy in the wine bar for the waiter to hear you.

And in the remote chance things get so bad that the book should have to be eaten, an emergency directory of all the places where a good latté can be bought to wash it down.

Y&R Dubai, the people responsible for the media glorification of Land Rover in the Middle East have come up with a novel idea this week by offering customers a Landy branded survival guide that can be eaten. Made of potato starch and the kind of culinary black magic one would more usually associate with Heston Blumenthal the book is claimed to offer a nutritional boost similar to that of a cheeseburger. Although as most cheeseburgers available on the average high street contain less dietary benefits than the packaging they are served in, this is perhaps a reasonably modest boast.

But up to the point of consumption, the book also offers all kinds of helpful hints with regard to survival in the Arabian wilds – camping, hunting and other such acts of Bear Gryllsishness – should you happen to find yourself suddenly stranded. Which is perhaps just a teensy bit of a publicity gamble; after all if you were the manufacturer one of the world’s most prestigious off-roaders, surely you wouldn’t want to be drawing attention to the fact that a little jolly into the desert behind the wheel of said off-roader is likely to end so badly that you will be compelled to eat a book?

Nevertheless, the marketing ploy seems to have gone down very well and as such it can only be a matter of time before the book becomes the de rigueur marketing tool for all of Land Rovers’ global territories. And that’s great for other barren, inhospitable lands in which owners of newly incapacitated Landys are likely to be immediately facing a harsh environment, deadly creatures and the risk of attack by locals who don’t fully grasp the pleasantries of Western civilisation – Australia for example – but I can’t help worrying that one or two man points may be lost when it comes to penning the New Zealand edition.

Goes down well with a Sheikh

Now I know that there are some rural areas where it can be an absolute bugger to get a mobile phone signal and I doubt it would be very pleasant having to spend a night up one of the higher mountains in South Island without the proper thermal underwear, but in all honesty the chances of facing either of those predicaments as the result of a Land Rover breaking down are somewhere between slim and zero. That’s not to say I have any great faith in Land Rover to suddenly reverse their woeful historical record in reliability surveys, but rather that I’m pretty damn confident no-one who bought one would even consider going anywhere so inhospitable in the first place.

Land Rovers have come a long way from their humble, working roots. Designed as a utilitarian, go-anywhere tool, they have evolved into a style icon for people who want to show the world that they have really made it in life. These are people who are far too busy dropping the children off at horse riding lessons or dashing to their next pilates session to be forging a trail into the wilderness. And even if there was time, apparently the wilderness doesn’t come with the option of a business class upgrade, which simply won’t do.

Providing such people with a book on the art of survival would be as much use as giving a dartboard to a fish and therefore Land Rover will have to tailor their tome to suit the local market. How to survive when the local delicatessen is closed and you only have access to a Pak n’ Save, finding your way back to Remuera without the aid of a GPS and how to signal for assistance when it’s too noisy in the wine bar for the waiter to hear you.

And in the remote chance things get so bad that the book should have to be eaten, an emergency directory of all the places where a good latté can be bought to wash it down.

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