Campbell Doyle Dye creates new Mercedes-Benz TV spot

Mercedes-Benz is to follow up last year's "Lucky Star" blockbuster with a £10 million TV, cinema and print bonanza through Campbell Doyle Dye to launch its 2003 passenger car range.

The creative brings together some of the world's sporting stars, including the Commonwealth gold-winning gymnast Ross Brewer and Tony Alva, the man who invented skateboarding in the 70s, in a bid to reflect the most innovative motoring advances in the Mercedes-Benz passenger range.

The campaign juxtaposes the most extreme capabilities of the human body - characterised by the world's leading athletes - with the top performance of Mercedes-Benz's latest technology in its new range.

The campaign, which is shot in black and white and is entitled "some people are just better at movement than others", features a variety of models from the passenger car range, including the new E-Class Estate and CLK-Class Cabriolet.

The TV spot opens on a skier speeding down a ski jump, trailed by flashlights, which morph into the motion of a car driving along a carriageway. A gymnast - Brewer - then appears, with flashlights following his movement, which turns into the motion of the car's rotating wheels.

A similar visual technique is used throughout the rest of the commercial to showcase the cars' credentials. All marques appear in metallic silver to complement the black-and-white filming.

Media activity for the campaign was planned and bought through BJK&E. Cinema work will break this week to coincide with the release of The Matrix Reloaded.

Television activity will target new, younger customers alongside its existing customer base, and will break on 1 June during the Monaco Grand Prix.

Erica Maran, an account director at CDD, said: "We want to regain the idea of Mercedes-Benz as a leader in the market and inject some youth and dynamism into the brand, attracting a younger customer base."

Sixty- and 20-second versions of the TV spot will run across the ITV network, Channel 4 and satellite channels until the end of the year.

Forthcoming print work will run in men's and women's titles, as well as Elle Decoration and Sunday supplements with The Sunday Times and The Observer.

Simon Oldfield, the marketing director at Mercedes-Benz, explained: "In the new Mercedes-Benz advertising for 2003, we were keen to highlight the multi-faceted nature of the brand. The new commercials achieve this through demonstrating the latest exciting innovations and technology in the passenger car range."

The campaign was written and art directed by Walter Campbell, and directed by Ivan Bird at Serious Pictures. Post-production was through The Mill.

The "Lucky Star" campaign for the Mercedes SL 500 was a spoof film trailer directed by Michael Mann and starring the Hollywood actor Benicio Del Toro. It was placed in cinemas among genuine trailers.

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