Recently I stumbled upon a social media game on Instagram named #DefenderChallenge and I started to join in.
Both Chantalle Shemie and Dale Vito Boom have a deep love for the iconic Land Rover Defender cars and to share the love they both took snapshots of Defenders on the street. As a joke they started to tag each other and starting using the hashtag #DefenderChallange to keep score who encounters more Defender cars on the road.
Their passion is so infectious, that more people started joining and are playing this game with them. I decided to write a blog post about it for two reasons:
1. None of the players actually own a Defender vehicle.
2. The power of social media.
Usually people use social media to show off what and how much they own. But this initiative by Shemie and Boom was created spontaneous and comes from a deep love for the car. When asking the founders of the game where their love comes from, they answered:
"Ever since I am a child I a crazy about Africa, wildlife and safari's. And, a safari is not complete without a big old school Land Rover Defender to find wildlife during a safari in Africa. I have had the opportunity to spend a month in the bush and the Defender is not only beautiful and handy, but actually a necessity, a true lifesaver." says Chantalle Shemie. She continues and indicates that: "Although you don't actually need a Defender is a flat country like the Netherlands, I am saving up to buy an vintage Defender here. It will be my piece of Africa in Holland."
Dale Vito Boom comes from a totally different angle and he states: "Since my childhood I am crazy about art and design. My greatest passion is vintage watches, which are marvelous pieces of art and often design icons. What I love about vintage watches is that usually form follows function. This is definitely true for the Defender. I hope to own one some day."
From these short quotes we can conclude that although both do not own a Defender today, they are actually planning to own one in the near future. Which leads me to the second reason I wrote this post: the power of social media.
Although both Shemie and Boom do not own the car, their passion for it is so infectious that the bug infected their friends on Instagram to join in and play the game too (including me - I love this car too every since I am a child). This shows how powerful and sincere social media can be. And, what a fantastic pool of knowledge and data this can be for brands. And, that is why I love social media. Besides that it is great fun.
It's interesting to note that when I asked both Shemie and Boom if Land Rover liked, regrammed or commented on their posts, they both said the had no reaction whatsoever from the brand. It important to note that they both actually tagged several official accounts of Land Rover in the pictures.
Message to Land Rover:
Please wake up! Embrace these future Defender owners! They are already your brand ambassadors.