Tortoise Gets a Lift From a Very Fast Sports Car in Mercedes’ Version of This Aesop’s Fable

The hare, like Bugs Bunny before him, comes up short

A new $100,000 sports car helps the tortoise beat the hare in Mercedes-Benz' Super Bowl ad, which the automaker posted on YouTube today.

The ad, from Merkley + Partners in New York, retells the classic fable with Mercedes' AMG GT tipping the scales in slowsky's favor. Must have been its aerodynamic design, to paraphrase Cecil Turtle in the classic Bugs Bunny version of the tale.

By using a two-seater that's clearly out of the price range of most consumers, Mercedes seeks entertainment value and something that helps to tell the story, rather than just sell a car. And that strategy makes sense, given that the Super Bowl first and foremost is a platform for memorable stories. As Drew Slaven, vp of advertising at Mercedes-Benz USA, told Adweek, "It is the sort of advertising that we as consumers of the Super Bowl expect companies and agencies to bring."

Picking up that thought, Merkley CEO Alex Gellert added, "There is an expectation among consumers that Super Bowl advertising will be entertaining, that it is at least equal parts entertainment as sell if not slightly more entertaining than sell. They are mini pieces of cinema."

This year marks the third time in six years that Mercedes has been on the game. Interestingly, before 2010 the brand had never advertised on the Super Bowl. The impetus behind that first buy was the company's 150th anniversary. Then, a 2013 ad, featuring Willem Dafoe as the devil, was about affordable luxury. In contrast, this year's execution, directed by Robert Stromberg (Maleficent), feels like pure whimsy and car candy. Slaven himself described it as charming and endearing with "tremendous wit."

Here's a look at the ad: