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Study Finds Mercedes Advertising Outperforms Competitors Across the Board

Asked users to respond to 250,000 ads in print, digital and TV

The study found Mercedes ads had strong recall and brand affinity.

Over the past few months, Mercedes' digital team has nimbly worked a number of social platforms to build brand awareness. But a new study launching today from Phoenix Marketing International finds that the German automaker is also killing it across the board in advertising—including television, print, digital and out-of-home.

The research measures reactions from more than 250,000 advertisements over the past 18 months from luxury automotive brands. Four automakers fall into the study's luxury automaker category: Lexus, Mercedes, Audi and BMW. It’s important to note that the research does not include super-high-end luxury brands like Ferrari, Bentley and Lamborghini.

Phoenix Marketing International’s research asked roughly 2,000 online users each month to look at and respond to ads. The data asked consumers to recall an ad and if there was a lift in brand impression. Consumer response and emotional impact from creative were also examined. The research tracked consumers’ reactions to ads across all mediums, but Dennis Syrkowski, president of automotive at Phoenix Marketing International, noted that broadcast ads in particular perform well for Mercedes.

Over the past year and a half, Mercedes has introduced two new cars—the E Class and M Class—and rolled out new brand image and sales event ads.

"We didn’t compare historically to any prior period, but based on the data we've been tracking, this does represent an improved performance for Mercedes at a time that was very important to them in the market," said Dennis Syrkowski, president of automotive at Phoenix Marketing International.

Thirty percent of consumers who watched a Mercedes ad recalled the brand, up from the 29 percent average for luxury automakers. Thirty percent of respondents who watched the German automaker’s ads said that a promo lifted brand impression compared to a 26 percent industry norm for the luxury category.

Mercedes also outperformed in lift to purchase consideration, likeability and salience. Ninety-five percent of respondents identified the brand correctly, while 96 percent of respondents said the same for the luxury automotive industry in general.

The research also zeroed in on in-market activity measuring if consumers took an action as a result of seeing an ad. Forty-three percent of consumers who recalled the brand took an additional action—including visiting a dealer, looking for additional information or interacting digitally with other consumers about the brand. To compare, 38 percent of consumers who saw an ad from a luxury automotive brand in general made a secondary action.

Creatively, Mercedes beat the luxury automotive norm for all categories, including engagement, relevance, styling and cognitive recognition. While Mercedes reigns in luxury, Syrkowski singled out Subaru and Toyota as non-luxury brands that also have great creative campaigns.

"Creatively, if I look at how they’re over-performing, there are other brands in the non-luxury space that do as well," Syrkowski noted, "but they don’t compete with Mercedes."

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