Mercedes-Benz "Soul" Shines Through
Industry data shows MBUSA CLA ad scores big during Super Bowl XLVII
MONTVALE, N.J., Feb. 7, 2013
MONTVALE, N.J., Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --The perennial discussion among
industry pundits about the Super Bowl, the largest and most watched sporting
event of the year, is: are the millions of dollars spent on Game Day airtime
worth the investment? Most experts say that it depends on the expectation and
Ask Steve Cannon, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA what he wanted from
the multi-prong marketing campaign the company put together for Super Bowl
XLVII and he will say, "The goal was to create a compelling story which would
introduce a new product – our 2014 CLA coupe -- at a first-ever price point in
a way that would not only get people talking but also begin to get them
interested and engaged."
According to Cannon – and various industry barometers -- the campaign that
Mercedes-Benz launched on January 20^th did just that.
Right off the top, Mercedes-Benz benefited from the fact that the game was
played at the "Mercedes-Benz Superdome" (the company invested in naming rights
in 2011). ImageTrack powered by Kantar Media — IEG's sponsorship/advertising
broadcast monitoring service — projected that this would result in
Mercedes-Benz receiving 6 minutes and 19 seconds of exposure during the game,
valued at approximately $4.6 million. If the fourth-quarter for the CLA was
then included, the total media exposure value was projected to exceed $12
The campaign itself consisted of five elements. An advertising teaser
campaign with four: 15 spots and one :30 went into rotation during the AFC
championships on January 20 queuing up the ad with the "Something…is coming,"
tag. Two days later, the company released an online video (the parody of the
stereotypical bikini clad model washing a car had Kate Upton playing to the
camera while a bevy of good-looking young guys soaped up her car) which went
viral and garnered close to three million views by the next day without the
benefit of any paid media (it's now at 7 million). This was followed by a
long-form version of the Super Bowl ad "Soul" and then a "Behind the Scenes"
online video. Combined, these four creative executions netted nearly 10
million views before the final element, the 60-second version of the ad was
released (to date, that tally is well over 13 million).
"But," notes Bernie Glaser, VP of marketing for MBUSA "To really amortize your
investment, you've got to go deeper than measuring entertainment popularity.
The real magic lies in converting awareness into consumer interest. Engaging
people enough to go out of their way to find out more about your product --
that's the real payout."
The ad itself, set in New Orleans where MBUSA has strong philanthropic ties in
addition to its presence there, drives home an actual selling point – the
CLA's price. Created by Merkley+Partners (NYC), the storyline involves a
devilish Willem Dafoe offering a young man a Mercedes CLA and all that comes
with it -- a red carpet moment with Kate Upton, a dance-off with Usher, a
drive on the Formula 1 racetrack etc.—in exchange for his soul. But just when
the young guy is about to make the deal, he spies a billboard touting the
CLA's MSRP of $29,900 and vanquishes Dafoe saying "I think I've got this."
And, as the various industry ad metrics started to roll in, data shows that
MBUSA's spot itself "got this" and a whole lot more with audiences.
According to Ace Metrics, an independent analytics company which measures
advertising effectiveness, "Soul" scored the highest of any automotive
advertisement and tied for the 4th highest score overall for all ads on the
As far as concrete evidence of effectiveness and engagement, Edmunds.com, one
of the leading car information sites where potential buyers go to do their
research, reported that the CLA had the highest jump in vehicle consideration
both during the Game and in the 24-hour period that followed. Nearly one out
of every five consumer searches during the fourth quarter was for the new
sporty four-door coupe. In fact, queries for the entire Mercedes-Benz brand
on the Edmunds website were up 122% from the average of the four previous
Sundays, giving the brand the number one spot for consideration among all
luxury makes during the Game.
"The CLA was the number one shopped vehicle on Edmunds.com over the weekend,"
said Vice Chairman Jeremy Anwyl from Edmunds.com. "It is the best performing
ad campaign I have seen since I started tracking Super Bowl ad performance.
The CLA obviously connected with a vast audience, demonstrating Mercedes Benz
is enjoying early success as it reaches to a new generation of luxury vehicle
Looking ahead, the ad has its second broadcast appearance during the Academy
Awards in late February. Its biggest star, the CLA, makes a brief appearance
at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week starting today and will appear at the U.S. Open,
the PGA Championship and other high-profile events that MBUSA sponsors.
Digital and social media activations will be released over the next few months
(the company's Facebook page Facebook.com/Mercedes-Benz USA is currently
offering select fans an opportunity to see the CLA in an expense-paid trip to
New York in conjunction with the New York Auto Show) as the September launch
of the sporty 208–hp four-door coupe draws near.
About Mercedes-Benz USA
Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, is
responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service for all
Mercedes-Benz products in the United States. MBUSA offers drivers the most
diverse line-up in the luxury segment with 14 model lines ranging from the
sporty C-Class to the flagship S-Class sedans and the SLS AMG supercar.
MBUSA is also responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service
of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Vans and smart in the US. More information on MBUSA
and its products can be found at www.mbusa.com, www.mbsprinterusa.com and
SOURCE Mercedes-Benz USA
Contact: Donna Boland, +1-201-573-6893, Mariella Kapsaskis, +1-201-573-4734,
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