What’s hot? The all-new Mercedes-Benz CLA. What’s hotter? Kate Upton washing it in slow motion.
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Citing the high price tag and few major-model pushes, the high-end automaker is sitting out the big game after its debut last year
Mercedes-Benz won’t be among the auto nameplates returning to the Super Bowl next year. Don’t call the automaker a dissatisfied customer, however. Far from it. The auto brand still benefits from its push around February’s telecast, which averaged about 111 million viewers.
In its debut on the big game , Mercedes broke a 60-second ad from Merkley + Partners that celebrated the company’s 125th anniversary and the start of a busy product year. (It had five major relaunches.) It also tacked social media onto its Super Bowl play, growing its Twitter following  from zero to 77,000. Its Facebook “likes” have more than quintupled—to about 158,000—and its content on YouTube has generated millions of views. Total sales have risen too, with unit sales through August up 10 percent compared to the same period last year.
The Super Bowl effort “really represented our headlong plunge into embracing social media and what that will mean to the brand. So, to me, that was one of the lasting benefits,” says Steve Cannon, vp of marketing at Mercedes-Benz USA. “We just had a great intersection of things that made the Super Bowl as a platform meaningful to us.”
Next year, with just two major model relaunches in the works—and no special anniversary—a return to the game didn’t make sense, says Cannon. He also blanched at the price tag. NBC is charging up to $3.5 million for 30 seconds on next year’s game, up from this year’s top price of $3 million. Just a handful of units remain unsold.
“Everybody [is] clamoring for that inventory and paying crazy premiums,” adds Cannon, who has led Mercedes’ marketing since 2007. “So we just said, ‘You know what? We’re going to watch this one from the sidelines.’”
But Cannon doesn’t view the Super Bowl as a one-off. In fact, he leaves the door open to returning in 2013 when Mercedes plans to introduce a new class of premium small cars. For now, though, he’s focused on new campaigns for the company’s high-volume C-Class and M-Class models, which broke in late August and will continue into November.
The C-Class work, which includes two TV ads, a half-dozen events, and an interactive video called “Coupe It,” plays up the model’s performance and design in a bid to appeal to Gen X and Gen Y. In contrast, ads for the M-Class, which targets fortysomethings with families, tout safety features. Both efforts continue to use a Gottlieb Daimler mantra as a tagline: “The best or nothing.”
The stakes are high for the ads, which come during Mercedes’ version of the two-minute warning: the final months on the calendar. As Cannon explains, “This is where you make your year.”
Read More at Mercedes Parks on Super Bowl Sidelines.
Curious how “Welcome” — our very first Super Bowl ad — was made? Go behind the scenes and see how we brought 125 years of innovation to the small screen in this Hollywood-scale production.
Read More at: DetroitNews
Automakers seeking to score big points with potential customers will dominate advertising at the 2011 Super Bowl, with more than 15 auto commercials scheduled to air during the game.
At least eight automakers have bought airtime. Among them: General Motors Co. is back in the game; Hyundai Motor Co, will run more ads; and Mercedes-Benz will air its first-ever Super Bowl ad.
The annual football fest is shaping up as a major showdown for automakers angling to pile on exposure for new cars and trucks in a brightening sales climate, analysts say.
It’s yet another indicator of the auto industry’s gradual recovery, with companies feeling flush enough to commit millions of dollars for even a single 30-second slot.
In addition to its Super Bowl commitment, GM announced this week that it has signed a deal to be the only domestic automaker advertising on NBC network and cable television during the 2012 Olympics in London. Chevrolet and Cadillac will have “a major advertising presence” during the games, from July 27 to Aug. 12, 2012, it said.
During the recession, many auto companies slashed their advertising budgets to shore up dwindling bottom lines.
According to WPP’s Kantar Media, a New York-based media research firm, auto companies accounted for about 51/2 minutes of Super Bowl ad time in 2010, up from 3 minutes in 2009.
Ford Motor Co. will not advertise during the game, but it will be the only auto company advertising during the final half-hour of the pre-kick program, said Susan Venen-Bock, media manager for Ford and Lincoln.
The Dearborn-based automaker will promote the new Ford Explorer, which this week was named truck of the year at the North American International Auto Show, and the F-150 pickup, which is adding a new engine lineup.
Luxury brands such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, will be Super Bowl players, too.
BMW will talk up a major overhaul to its U.S. lineup in its first Super Bowl ad in a decade. Audi will return for its fourth consecutive year, with a 60-second ad. Mercedes will debut its first Super Bowl commercial ever, to mark its 125-year anniversary and the 2011 arrival of four new models, said Donna Boland, Mercedes’ manager of corporate communications.
“With all that’s going on, we wanted to kick off the year in a big way,” Boland said. “And it doesn’t get any bigger than the Super Bowl.”
Hyundai will increase its airtime from two to three 30-second spots at February’s game, with a strong emphasis on its all-new Elantra. Kia will return for a second year, pushing its 2011 Optima; Volkswagen AG is making a comeback after a nine-year hiatus with two 30-second commercials.
Japanese automakers Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. aren’t suiting up for the game.