Mercedes Gives British Teen a Hand: A Branded Prosthetic One

Automaker goes all out on a limb

Mercedes-Benz has found yet another advertising medium in an already fragmented landscape: branded prosthetics! It wasn't the automaker's idea, the Telegraph reports, but that of Matthew James, a clever 14-year-old who was born without a left hand—and invited Mercedes to fit him with a high-tech artificial one if he promised to slap its logo on it. Likely spurred by some mix of genuine benevolence and the PR possibilities, the brand jumped at the offer, paying roughly $57,000 for the prosthesis. James, who wasn't enamored of his last artificial arm, is, of course, delighted. ''It is going to make such a big difference to my life," he tells the Telegraph. ''It also looks really cool—the outer shell is see-through, so you can actually see the mechanics working. They are even going to put a little Mercedes badge by the wrist.'' Everybody wins. Next thing you know, Matthew will be starring in Verizon's Droid ads.