Any Idea What These Remarkably Subtle Mercedes-Benz Ads Are Trying to Say?

Some clues hold the answer

Subtlety is a valuable thing in advertising, as consumers will always feel better about a brand that lets them connect the dots instead of hammering them over the head. But there is such a thing as too subtle, as well.

Mercedes-Benz rides that line in these ads from BBDO Chile. We stared at them for a few minutes trying to work out the message, and not just because the copy has been translated.

We spoke to BBDO art director Leonardo Rocha about the ads. But before we give away his explanation, let us know what you think they're about.

UPDATE: Rocha tells us the clues are indeed the gold tooth and the tattoo. They are fake parts that spoil the men's elegance, much as non-original parts spoil a Mercedes. All of which reinforces the brand's claim: "The best or nothing." (And no, the tattoo guy doesn't have a glass eye—that's just the way the photo looks.)

Click to enlarge. Via Adeevee.

Client: Mercedes-Benz
Agency: BBDO, Santiago, Chile
Executive Creative Director: Jorge Espinoza
Creative Director: Rodrigo Peralta
Art Director: Leonardo Rocha
Copywriter: Felipe Araya
Photographer: Javiera Eyzaguirre