The Coen Brothers Directed Merkley + Partners’ ‘Easy Driver’ Super Bowl Spot for Mercedes

By Erik Oster 

The Coen Brothers (Inside Llewyn Davis, Fargo, No Country For Old Men) directed their first Super Bowl spot in over 15 years with Merkley + Partners’ “Easy Driver” for Mercedes’ AMG brand.

Contrary to earlier reports, it is NOT their first Big Game ad.

The Easy Rider-themed spot features Peter Fonda, who of course starred in that 1969 film and the Steppenwolf song “Born to Be Wild” from its soundtrack. It opens on a rough and tumble biker bar, whose patrons’ arm wrestling and brawling is interrupted when they’re informed someone is blocking them in.

Who is blocking them, and what they’re driving, should hardly come as a surprise. The brand released a 60-second extended version of the ad, while will run in abbreviated form during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, today.


“We are now switching from AMG as a proof point for Mercedes-Benz performance to AMG as its own brand,” Drew Slaven, vice president of marketing for Mercedes-Benz USA, explained to Adweek. “It’s still part of the Mercedes-Benz family—it’s called Mercedes-AMG—what we’re really beginning to do is put the AMG piece of it front and center.”

“Peter Fonda plays a critical piece of the storyline, and he’s known as someone who still epitomizes what it is to love driving performance and the open road,” he added. “The film [Easy Rider] component goes back 48 years. We thought there was a nice parallel that was set up between the era of that and what was, in 1967, the beginnings of AMG.”

Antoni – Germany
André Kemper, Chief Creative Officer / Founder
Dr. Tonio Kröger, Managing Partner / Founder
Marcell Francke, Creative Director
Stephan Schaefer, Creative Director
Mark Róta, Executive Producer
Guelcan Demir, Account Director
Moritz Pfingsten, Account Director
Merkley + Partners – USA
Andy Hirsch, Chief Creative Officer / Chairman
Alex Gellert, CEO
Gary Grossman, Director of Broadcast Production
Alex Kobak, Senior Producer
Diane delisa, Director of Business Affairs
Cynthia Davis, Chief Client Officer
Lisa Mannarelli-Puleo, EVP / Group Account Director
Beth Liss, Group Account Director
Production Company:
Company Films
Joel Coen, Director
Ethan Coen, Director
Dan Hainey, DP
Ron Neter, Line Producer
Robin Benson, Executive Producer
Executive Producer, Richard Goldstein
Head of Production, Ari Schneiderman
Editorial Company:
Final Cut NY
Rick Russell, Editor
Jen Sienkwicz, Producer
Sarah Roebuck, Executive Producer
UK Loading Assistant, Mike Radforth
NY Cutting Assistant, Geoff Hastings
Visual Effects:
Tom Bussell, VFX Lead
Iwan Zwarts, Lead Compositor
Daniel Morris, Compositor
Liz Lyons, Compositor
Michael Dunkey, CG FX Artist
Rotoscoping, Trace VFX
Tracking, Bogdan Mihajlovic
Megan Sweet, Producer
Charlotte Arnold, Executive Producer
Color Grading:
Company 3
Tom Poole, Colorist
“Born To Be Wild” – Steppenwolf
Audio Post:
Heard City
Phil Loeb, Sound Mixer
Trinitite Studios:
Brian Emrich, Sound Designer