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Forever Driven Mercedes-Benz

The history of the automobile is inseparable from the history of Mercedes- Benz. Not only did they invent the world’s first self-propelled ‘motorwagen’ in 1886, they relentlessly continued with innovative engineering initiatives to introduce many automotive ‘world firsts’.

Some of their ‘world-first’ achievements would include the Honeycomb Radiator in 1901, Electric Powered vehicles in 1906, the Multivalve Engine in 1910, the Supercharged Engine in 1921, Four Wheel Independent Suspension in 1931, Anti-Locking Braking System (ABS) in 1970, the Air Bag in 1981, and in 1995, the Electronic Stability Program (ESP).

1. Mercedes-Benz, The Journey That Changed Everything

Advertising Agency: Antoni Garage, Berlin, Germany

This Mercedes-Benz commercial honouring International Women’s Day brought Sebastian Strasser’s superb storytelling directional skills to the fore.

The film scenario based on a true story is about Bertha Benz’s decision in 1888 to ‘test drive’ drive her husband Carl Benz’s motorised carriage invention on a 160-km journey from Manheim to Pforzheim and back again.

Her intention was to motivate her husband to keep the faith in the sustainability of his invention and to prove to skeptics that the motorised carriage was ‘fit-for-purpose’.

Bertha and her two sons Eugen and Richard left home early in the morning while Carl was still asleep, and made their way to Carl’s workshop to begin their journey that became a milestone in the history of motorised transportation.

The remarkable story of her determination and resilience in overcoming problems encountered along her route is a fitting tribute to International Women’s Day.

2. Mercedes-Benz, Anniversary Gathering

Advertising Agency: Merkley & Partners, New York, USA

Directed by Peter Thwaites, this Mercedes-Benz Anniversary commercial released during the 2011 American Super Bowl Football Championship live TV broadcast, features a gathering of old and new Mercedes-Benz vehicles spanning their groundbreaking 125 years of automotive history.

The visual storytelling analogy of the strong family bonds that exist between the old and new generations of Mercedes-Benz vehicles and sacrificial crash-test cars makes for entertaining viewing.

3. Mercedes-Benz, Uncrashable Toy Cars

Advertsing Agency: Jung von Matt/Alster, Hamburg, Germany

Directed by Robin Polák, this 2016 One Show winner of the Automobile Advertising of the Year accolade, was for a Mercedes-Benz Brake Assist System PLUS commercial.

Based on the human insight that children often take a delight in crashing and trashing their toy cars, the social experiment involved giving children toy cars to play with that were fitted with very strong magnets that prevented them being able to crash one car into another.

Their failed crashing attempts and frustrated reactions are amusing to observe and a very effective demonstration analogy of the innovative safety benefit available to Mercedes- Benz drivers.

4. Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Sorry

Advertising Agency: Jung von Matt/Neckar, Stuttgart

This is a story about a driver who discovers to his surprise that he has suddenly acquired a rather grim passenger.

Superbly directed by Alex Fell, the E-Class Brake Assist commercial also has a surprise for Automotive Industry followers. Amusingly, the passenger playing the role of the Grim Reaper is ex VW boss Ferdinand Piëch.

5. Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Magic Body Control

Advertising Agency: Jung von Matt/Neckar, Stuttgart, Germany

The complex functionality of the ‘Magic Body Control’ (MBX) suspension is cleverly demonstrated in a chicken analogy that’s easy to grasp and also amusingly memorable.

Superbly directed by Baniel Warwick, the commercial with its Diana Ross soundtrack of ‘Upside Down, Inside Out’ motivated 2 million views, 220,000 Facebook shares and 6000 tweets in 4 days.

6. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet, Time to Look Up Again

Advertising Agency: Antoni Garage, Berlin, Germany

I love the human insight of this commercial that Sebastian Strasser has brought to life about the learning we accrue and the pleasure we derive throughout life by ‘looking up’.

It may be the colourful beauty of a night sky ‘northern lights’ Aurora Borealis, the equally magnificent spectacle of a ‘southern lights’ Aurora Australis’, the eclipse of the Moon, the stars to navigate by, cloud formations, a spectacular fireworks display, a flock of birds, a family nest of eagles, the enthralling wildlife in lofty forest trees or majestic mountain-peaks. Whatever it may be, it involves ‘looking up’ for rewarding viewing.

7. Mercedes-Benz X Class, Follow

Advertising Agency: Lukas Lindermann Rosinski, Hamburg, Germany

The Mercedes-Benz X Class is the first all-terrain vehicle of its kind. It has been engineered to be able to handle traversing the roughest, most inhospitable desert imaginable and to be equally adaptive for every-day driving in genteel urban environments.

Directed by Jean Wentz, the commercial is an enjoyable visual exaggeration of its destiny to become an automotive ‘class leader’ that will attract many admirers and followers.

The featured soundtrack song is ‘Ordinary Tribe’ by ‘The Everlasters’.

8. Mercedes-Benz AMG GT, The Tortoise and The Hare

Advertising Agency: Merkley + Partners, New York, USA

The live coverage of the American Super Bowl Football Championships attracts an annual TV audience in excess of 100 million and viewer expectations of being entertained by commercials with rewarding stories, are at an all time high.

Mercedes-Benz in 2015 did not disappoint. Directed by Robert Stromberg, ‘The Tortoise and The Hare’ commercial provided an entertaining, contemporary spin on the ancient Aesop Fable and was loved by viewers.

9. Mercedes-Benz AMG Roadster, Easy Driver

Advertising Agency: Merkley + Partners, New York, USA

The AMG technical laboratory and German engineering workshop for high performance engine modifications, was launched in the late sixties.

So too was a biker movie in the US called ‘Easy Rider’ that was produced by actor Peter Fonda. He also starred in the movie alongside a newcomer by the name of Jack Nicholson. ‘Easy Rider’ became the ultimate cult movie about the spirit of freedom and consequential love of the ‘open road’.

50 years later, these two totally unrelated events, have been commemorated and brought together with surprising relevancy. Directed by the Coen Brothers, the AMG Roadster commercial is an amusing parody that also features a cameo appearance by Peter Fonda, the originator of the ‘road movie’ film genre.