Mercedes Throttles up Social Contest for Super Bowl

mercedesMercedes-Benz is among the first brands incorporating a heavy dose of social media into its Super Bowl marketing – a strategy that others will adopt in the next six weeks.

The carmaker yesterday announced on its Facebook page a contest-oriented “The World’s First Twitter-Fueled Race” campaign. Visitors to the page can enter the contest after “liking” the brand and filling out an application that includes submitting a Twitter handle. Participants must have a driver’s license and be U.S. citizens. Finalists will be notified via direct message on Twitter on Dec. 24 and will then be asked to create a short video about why they should be selected.

Here’s the ad copy for Mercedes Benz USA’s Facebook page, which had 29,500 “likes” on Friday:

“If selected, you and a co-driver of your choice will embark on Feb. 2, 2011, from one of four cities — New York, L.A., Chicago or Tampa — with a pair of Super Bowl tickets and a specially outfitted Mercedes-Benz. You’ll need to beat out three other teams headed to Dallas. You’ll need to complete a series of challenges along the way. And you’ll need gallons of Tweets from your Twitter followers to fuel you to victory.”

Four two-person teams – one for each aforementioned city – will try to accrue the most Twitter followers and Facebook “likes” while they race to Dallas, the Super Bowl’s host city. The team with the most social media tallies wins a Mercedes Benz 2012 C-Class Coupe.

While several agencies are participating, according to a Mercedes spokesperson, Seattle-based digital shop Razorfish is leading the effort. The spokesperson said it has not been determined whether the brand would run a TV spot during the Super Bowl.

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