In earlier blog posts, I’ve discussed how Razorfish clients like Intel, Mattel, and MillerCoors are making bold product launches amid the recession. All along, Mercedes-Benz USA has been doing just that.
Case in point: as announced recently, MBUSA has launched the 2010 E-Class automobile with the support of a major online/offline marketing effort managed by Merkley & Partners and my employer Razorfish. In doing so, MBUSA has stayed true to its brand and avoided the temptation to compete on price during down times.
As Steve Cannon, vice president of marketing for MBUSA, told The New York Times, “I’d rather tell our brand story, our innovation story, our value story, than join the chorus of everyone else that’s screaming ‘sale’ — that’s about the only message that’s out there right now.”
And the entire marketing campaign, “Everything We Know, Everything We Are: This Is Mercedes-Benz,” reflects the Mercedes-Benz reputation for innovation and a first-class automotive experience.
The digital experience shows you what MBUSA has in mind rather than hit you over the head with the message. For instance, the online advertising uses cool CGI-enhanced videos including 3-D homepage takeovers of nytimes.com and wsj.com. Normally we associate CGI with the innovative minds of Pixar. By employing CGI in its advertising, MBUSA ups the ante for state-of-the-art digital advertising. (Also demonstrating innovation, MBUSA and Razorfish employ the new Online Publishers Association standards for the ads).
As reported in ClickZ, the ads expand into super-sized web pages with an E-Class coupe bursting out of a 3-D version of The New York Times front page, backlit by a city under a night sky. You can also rotate the car for a better look.
I like what Razorfish Client Partner Pat Frend told ClickZ “We used CGI to create those compelling environments to tell about those features in ways that are easy for users to understand, and in ways that are also beautiful.”
MBUSA understands that making luxury auto features easy to understand is not the same as dumbing down a product for consumers. Rather, the technology actually increases the wow factor and draws the consumer into the world of MBUSA.
Razorfish also helped MBUSA create a special E-Class section of the MBUSA website, which also features CGI-enhanced videos. And in another nod to innovation, MBUSA is using mobile web applications to target consumers using devices such as iPhones. You can also view the E-Class autos on YouTube.
The online ads launched July 1. Check them out and let me know what you think of them.