FOR LAND ROVER, LONG-FORM ADS ARE 'SPECIAL'

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Land Rover North America, facing more competition from luxury sport-utility vehicles, has turned to infomercials for the first time.

The importer's 26-minute infomercial is airing on 15 cable networks, and the buys include time for separate brand commercials.

"The longer format of an infomercial allows us to delve into exactly what makes Land Rover ownership so special," said Chris Marchand, model manager of Range Rover, who headed the project. "We're making sure we promote the strengths of our product with the resources we have."

Vermont Studio, Putney, Vt., produced the infomercial.

Land Rover spent $29.3 million in measured media advertising last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

Via a toll-free number that appears periodically in the infomercial, viewers can order the Land Rover Journal, a lifestyle magazine with product data and branded merchandise; "The Authoritative Guide to Sport Utility Vehicles"; and a 60-minute video of the brand's history, "The 50-Year Adventure."

The magazine and the guide are free; the video is $4.95.

"For some niche brands, like Rover, your products are a very complex symbol and part of your individualized lifestyle," said consultant Jay Houghton. "You can't

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