Web Ads Hype Tech behind the Wheel in Mercedes Campaign

  |  June 25, 2009   |  Comments

Razorfish Seattle developed a campaign using new, extra-large ad units to show off the automaker's new E-Class models.

Mercedes-Benz 2010 E-Class models are on sale starting this week, and to promote the new sedans and coupes the auto manufacturer plans to implement what it calls the biggest marketing launch in recent years. Razorfish Seattle created the digital portion of the campaign, including supersized ads using new Online Publisher Association standards.


An online media buy includes a series of rich media ad units that will run beginning in early July. Creative executions focus on E-Class design and technology. One banner states "This is performance in full view. Turn this page into a showroom." When a user clicks on the ad, it expands to the full size of the Web page. The coupe rests atop a 3-D version of the New York Times front page with the backdrop of a city under a night sky. The user can drag the mouse to rotate the car while features are described in the ad unit.

The 3-D effects are created through computer-generated imagery. "We used CGI to create those compelling environments to tell about those features in ways that are easy for users to digest, and in ways that are also beautiful," said Patrick Frend, SVP of client engagement at Razorfish.

CGI ads were created using the OPA's new larger formats. Ads for other brands using the new units have been spotted within the past week.

"It's been a really great experience having more and different real estate to highlight the vehicles," said Frend. "It gives you so much more with that great real estate."

The campaign, titled "Everything We Know, Everything We are: This is Mercedes-Benz," highlights the technology behind the E-Class sedan and coupe series. The creative discusses features such as Attention Assist, which detects if a driver is drowsy and gives an audible and visual warning; and Adaptive High Beam Assist, which optimizes headlamp position for oncoming drivers. To a lesser degree, the campaign takes a look back to classic Mercedes-Benz models.

"the vehicle is a culmination of Mercedes's history of innovation, which has led to this technology-rich model," Frend said.

Another ad keeps users on the page they are reading, but demonstrates the vehicle's radar-based brake system, which ensures the car stays within a previously chosen distance from the vehicle in front of it. As users scroll up and down the page, the car stays within a "safe" distance on the page, even outside of the defined ad unit. "Features of this vehicle we tried to make come to life, and I think you'll see that come across in all of the marketing programs," Frend said.

Razorfish developed the whole digital program for the campaign, including overall strategy, online creative, media planning and buying, and site design. Beginning July 1, the OPA-standard units will be seen on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Foxsports.com, The Business Insider, MSNBC, Reuters, GolfChannel.com, Zagat.com, WashingtonPost.com, AmericanExpress.com, BoingBoing, and Boy Genius.

Razorfish worked closely with Mercedes-Benz's broadcast and print agency Merkley + Partners. The campaign also includes a six-week television flight, to be followed by a second wave of TV spots in September and October when primetime shows premiere and the NFL and college football seasons kick off.

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Enid Burns

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