The new campaign for DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes-Benz brand aims to
show consumers that there is a Mercedes model out there to suit every
type of person in Britain. Created by Partners BDDH, the launch ad
enters Adwatch at number 14 with 46% recall.
The 60-second execution uses the theme of star signs to highlight the
way people can be pigeon-holed and stereotyped. The ad shows a young
woman on a train, a man on a building site, a woman and a group of girls
reading out their horoscopes. With Groove Armada's If Everybody Looked
the Same as the backing track and shows a variety of people driving
around different UK locations in some of the 76 different Mercedes
models available. The strapline is 'For whoever you are'.
Partners BDDH won the account in 1997 and its first campaign featured
Janis Joplin's song, Mercedes Benz. Paul Gardener, account director at
Partners BDDH, says that where the earlier advertising addressed
people's price perceptions, the new campaign seeks to modernise the
brand and emphasise the diversity of its models. 'People have an
outdated view of Mercedes, and think that its cars are just for older
people and fat-cat businessmen,' he says. 'We wanted to reflect the new
brand philosophy of celebrating individuality.'
Gardener says that over the past few years Mercedes has moved away from
engineering-led advertising to a more consumer-driven strategy. It
didn't want the new campaign to be based on technical innovation or
engineering excellence. 'There simply aren't any badly made cars any
more, so being well made doesn't differentiate.'
The ad was shot in the UK and its contemporary feel is intended to
create a realistic reflection of British people and their cars. While
Gardener admits that there is a financial implication with regard to the
target audience, he insists that the Mercedes customer profile is more
diverse now than in the days when the cars were status symbols for
'Some people used to be turned off by the austere nature of the brand
and thought it was out of their league. We're trying to make it more
accessible and appealing,' says Gardener. 'There are no consumer
stereotypes in this market any more,' he adds.
The campaign launched on March 15 and will continue to run throughout
the year. A second ad in the burst continues the diversity theme and
shows various people having their hair cut in different, individual
styles. TV activity will be supported by press ads in lifestyle
According to The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders figures, in
the year to March 31 the number of new car sales for Mercedes-Benz
To see the 'Horoscopes' ad visit www.marketing.haynet.com.