Newspaper Advertising - The Creative Potential: Mercedes-Benz - Germany

BACKGROUND

This ad uses print technology in the cleverest of ways. It demonstrates one of the cutting-edge features of the new Mercedes S-class, a system called Night View Assist, by only revealing half of the ad - until you hold it up to the light.

Mercedes-Benz briefed the agency to devise something fresh and innovative to reflect the character of the car. Night View Assist gives the driver a much greater range of vision than conventional low-beam headlamps, enabling the course of the road, pedestrians, cyclists and obstacles to be spotted much sooner.

Springer & Jacoby, which has a strong reputation as something of a creative maverick in the generally staid German agency market, has held the Mercedes-Benz account for 15 years. Over that time, it has won plenty of awards for its work on the car brand, including Clios, gold, silver and bronze nails at the German ADC Advertising Awards and gold at Eurobest.

Newspaper advertising is very important to Mercedes- Benz, which uses the medium for brand advertising and "call-to-action" tactical messages.

There are some strong titles that reach Mercedes-Benz's target consumers (such as the drivers of the C, E and S-class models) and these papers are open to creative ideas and new formats.

This ad ran in Germany's Suddeutsche Zeitung at the end of September last year. The title, which is based in Munich, has the fourth-largest circulation of the German dailies.

Germany's newspaper market is strong, reaching more than 75 per cent of all adults daily. There has been a burst of activity recently, with more titles launching in the past few months than have appeared over the past six years.

Most German newspapers are regional, reflecting the geography of a country with several national centres. However, Bild, the number-one title, is truly national. It is Europe's largest daily, boasting a circulation of 3.8 million copies.

REVIEW - Andre Kemper co-founder, Kempertrautmann

Generally, newspaper advertising in Germany can be said to have undergone a very positive development in the past few years. Customers, agencies and publishing houses now focus their activities more intensively on the medium and have become more daring and creative in their use of it.

A trailblazer in the area of creative advertising in Germany is without doubt Mercedes-Benz. It is one of the very few brands to have used newspaper advertising in a creative way over a long period of time. There have been many examples of this, such as the first 24-page full-colour ad, or an ad where some copy with missing letters was accompanied by the headline: "You can find SBC, CDI, ESP, ABS, BAS APS, RDK in the new E-class." These were acronyms for special features of the car.

With the new S-class ad, Mercedes-Benz and its long-standing agency, Springer & Jacoby, demonstrate the technological superiority of the top model. One of the most important features is Night View Assist. When you first look at the ad, you see black and grey and the first half of the headline: "What the night does not show ..." If you hold the page against the light, you see the full picture: "What the night does not show, Night View Assist will show." It is a simple idea. The product is the hero and the paper as the medium is the perfect partner. Well done.

[BX] CREDITS Client: Mercedes-Benz Marketing manager: Jochen Sengpiehl Advertising manager: Andreas Poulionakis Project manager: Sylvia Ricken Agency: Springer & Jacoby Writers: Michael Frank, Christoph Nann Art directors: Mirco Kukereit, Maik Kahler Creative director: Till Hohmann Art assistant: Oliver Brkitsch Agency producer: Mini Kotzan