New Mercedes Ads Tell Consumers to ‘Live. A Lot’

Mercedes-Benz USA today begins a 12-month multimedia campaign for its 2001 C-Class, which company executives termed a “turning point” in evolving the brand’s image.

“We really view this launch as the most important and most significant launch in the company’s history,” said Ken Enders, vp of marketing for Mercedes-Benz USA.

The effort, by Merk-ley Newman Harty, breaks today with an introductory print ad; three TV spots debut this week during the Olympics in 18 top markets.

The first spot, set to break Friday, shows a man learning from his doctor that he has “40 years to live, maybe 45, 50—tops,” and is advised to get his affairs in order. To celebrate after hearing this news, the man then runs on the beach and plays with children, all while enjoying his C-Class. An-other spot shows inanimate objects such as teapots and a parking meter coming to life to admire the C-Class. A third commercial has an eerie, Blair Witch Project feel to it, with the viewer traveling through a forest and getting advice on enjoying life from the older generation. The tagline is: “Live. A lot.”

Spending will be $20-25 million in the fourth quarter alone, Enders said.

The initial print ad is running in magazines that include Bon Ap-petit, George and Van-ity Fair, and advises readers to enjoy life. The strategy is to use consumers’ lifestyles as a connection point. “If you look at a lot of the work we’ve done, it focused on the product, it focused on brand attributes,” said Alex Gellert, partner at Merkley. “We needed to now go that next step and dig deeper into the target.”