Apologies for the title – the SEO gremlins made me do it. The only thing missing is a mention of Kate Hudson and we’d surely win the full keyword jackpot. However this story is actually about a 2,000 mile journey to the coldest city, in a Jaguar XJ, along the Ice Road Trucker route.
Hats off to Jeremy Hart and his team at Inc Word for actually filming the journey and duelling it out with those 50-ton trucks along the Dempster Highway.
The journey began on 19th December, as temperatures in Dawson City touched -49ºC (-56F) reportedly making the gold-rush town in Canada’s Yukon Territory the coldest on the planet – so cold in fact that if you threw a cup of hot water in the air, it would instantly turned into a mini-blizzard, freezing before it hit the ground.
The cars driven across Canada’s frozen winter wasteland were standard Jaguar XJ AWD saloons, powered by 335bhp 3.0-litre V6 supercharged petrol engines. Their only ‘special’ equipment was a set of Pirelli winter tyres, otherwise the engines were filled with the OEM Castrol Edge synthetic oil and other standard fluids – although no doubt with a 100% concentration of anti-freeze in their cooling systems.
The adventure was part of a series of events scheduled around the Detroit Motor Show which introduced Jaguar’s new AWD models to the North American market, although Russia, China and continental Europe are also seen as key markets for the new XJ and XF variants which were launched last year.
The film follows the team’s expedition into the Arctic Circle. Starting at Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon and an important point of the Alaska Highway, the cars followed the mighty Yukon River north to Dawson City, scene of the great gold rush in the 1890′s.
Dawson is located at the bottom end of the Dempster Highway, domain of the Ice Road Truckers, which runs past the Arctic Circle to the town of Inuvik in the Northwest Territories.
The aim of the journey was to drive from the Yukon capital (1800 miles north of Vancouver, BC) to a point of perpetual sunset in the shortest daylight week of the year, and with deep snow, sheet ice, gravel and rutted/frozen mud as their highway this was no ‘easy’ challenge.
The 1,000 mile journey – a similar length to the marathon dog-sled race called the Yukon Quest – saw changeable conditions, from soft fluffy conditions at -15ºC to the sticky granular ice encountered at -40ºC. Contrary to what you’d normally expect, colder is better, with warmer near-freezing temperatures being more slippery and unpredictable.
The six-and-a-half minute video (above) is a great example of content marketing, producing a promotional tool that audiences will actually want to watch. It’s also a timely reminder during all the fuss being made here in the UK – as temperatures fall to -2ºC and snow brings travel (and the British economy) to a grinding halt.
We really need to get a grip (excuse the pun). You’ll not see any gritters in Jaguar’s Yukon video, nor any smartphone apps telling the team where to expect the next snowfall. A decent set of winter tyres, a handful of common sense and a properly serviced car are all that’s needed to make progress. Jaguar’s all-wheel drive is an added bonus.
Jaguar’s AWD system continuously monitors grip levels and driver inputs to both pre-empt and react to wheel-slip, enabling maximum traction in all conditions. Feed-forward torque distribution allows the system to prevent slippage occurring, thereby providing greater driver confidence and vehicle stability in low-grip scenarios.
Torque can be split up to 50:50 front/rear, although the system delivers drive predominantly to the rear wheels until more traction is needed.
Suspension and steering systems have also been re-engineered to take advantage of the increased traction.
To grow Jaguar’s share of the most northerly American markets it recently opened a new winter test facility in International Falls, Minnesota. The new facility includes cold testing chambers, snow covered test surfaces, a frozen lake and a concrete test track and is capable of analysing the performance of Jaguar and Land Rover products at temperatures as low as -48ºC.
SkiddMark recommendation: If you’re a marketer and thinking of making your own branded content, get in touch with the guys at incword.com – they’re one of the few content agencies who really know what they’re doing.
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