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mercedes' new curves

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In a brazen bid to make Mercedes-Benz a bit more hip and sexy, a local dealership in Scottsdale, Ariz., is evoking visions of babes in bikinis. Still, true to the upscale car's dignified image, it's only the words that are provocative.

Eager to target the under-35 set, ads for Schumacher Mercedes-Benz from local shop Folsom & Company include beauty shots of the cars accompanied by taglines perhaps more suited to beer ads.

For example, a sleek silver Mercedes convert ible shot against the backdrop of a roaring ocean includes the line, "If you stared at a girl in a bikini that long you'd get slapped." Another, with a dramatic photo of a sedan speeding along a country road, promises drivers will "Get more looks than a plunging neckline." A new SUV is described as "A swimsuit model that plays rugby."

"We thought this approach would set us apart from other auto motive dealers in the area," says Schumacher's Kevin Steele, who confirms that the ads are aimed at getting younger tire kickers into his showroom.