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Mercedes Touts Its Vehicles as 'Unlike Any Other'

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DETROIT -- A new campaign for Mercedes-Benz USA uses one tagline, "Unlike any other," for all of the automaker's vehicles.

The client spent about $120 million from January to November 2001 on ads in the U.S., according to CMR. Eleven spots by Merkley Newman Harty & Partners in New York begin breaking today; each highlights a vehicle attribute, such as security or value, followed by the tagline. Merkley also does Mercedes' media planning; Omnicom sister shop PentaCom, Detroit, handles buying.

The introductory spot focuses on the launch of the fifth-generation SL500, showing the vehicle through various time periods, with icons such as a peace symbol in the '60s and a disco ball in the '70s. Another ad shows the new G-Class sport utility vehicle bursting through a crash-test barrier and continuing through an office and the wall of the test facility.

The effort is "the most significant new body of work" since the car maker's well-received "Falling in Love Again" campaign from the former Lowe & Partners/SMS in 1997, said Dave Schembri, vp of marketing for the Montvale, N.J., company. Schembri said moving to a common tagline was necessary to achieve some consistency against an explosion in the number of Mercedes products -- the automaker has gone from 12 to 36 models in seven years.

Previous ads used different taglines for different vehicles. The new campaign features four 30- and 60-second brand spots to run nationally, including during the Academy Awards, and seven 30-second spots for dealers. The effort also includes print, radio and outdoor.