Mercedes has a lighter side. Who knew? Those zany Germans!
- What inspired Mercedes-Benz to release this web series?
- What are the goals for the project?
- Will there be an increase in car sales as a result of this video?
- Is there an audience for this type of marketing?
- What might the public response will be?
“In my opinion . . .”
instead of taking a typically Teutonic approach, using a lab coat-wearing talking head, droning on dryly about the company’s history, engineering and innovation, the producers here have taken a fresh approach: They have lightened things way up with a hip, fun, friendly fast paced informative series of short video vignettes, with a central character who is very entertaining.
Ja, das ist gut!
Good marketing is “all about the story,” and Mercedes-Benz has a lot to tell. Today’s average, non-enthusiast automotive purchaser knows little of (and probably cares very little about) the history of the manufacturer behind the car he or she drives. To such people, these cars are more or less rolling appliances which are now largely made by robots—as opposed to days past when they were hand built. Mercedes-Benz has a long, rich history and helping the audience learn about it in an entertaining way will likely help the present Mercedes owner, and those shopping for a new car, have a better appreciation for the world-famous marque.
I would expect the company to continue to produce these humorous-yet-informative video shorts until there is at least one full series. It will take constant creative energy to take a subject regarding engineering, historical references, record setting, pre-war and post-war racing, heritage, etc. and turn it all into a call-to-action, carefully creating a desire to own a car with the three pointed star. That’s what it’s all about after all.
Will the public respond favorably? I would assume yes—as long as the creative content remains fresh and entertaining and left wanting more. I think the presenter is silly and entertaining enough to even garner young viewers — the next generation of automotive buyers—and there’s nothing wrong with that!
Will this stimulate future sales? Perhaps. Only time will tell. The mechanics behind sales are about three things: trust, credibility and the mitigation of risk. On that last point, of late, Mercedes-Benz has acknowledged that the cars it produces now need to become as stone-reliable as they once were a few decades ago—before the likes of Infiniti, Lexus, etc., came along. That would be good to see them back on top of the J.D. Power’s dependability survey, and Consumer Reports Long-Term Reliability Tests.
Today, because there is so much good competition, Mercedes-Benz must be proactive, and be constantly vigilant about maintaining positive consumer opinion through its virtual presence on the most visible areas on the Internet. If they keep these people happy, by meeting or exceeding their expectations, they’ll become the company’s goodwill ambassadors—online and off line—and there’s nothing better than a trusted third-party endorsement to build a brand and spark sales. Even better than “Uke The Nightguard.”
Image credit: Mercedes-Benz