How Experiential 'should' be used for car launches

I’ve worked on quite a few car launches during my career to date. Some good, some bad. In fact the Peugeot activity we are working on for Initials is probably the best one to date (more on that below).

However, none have pushed the boundaries as much as this. The launch of the new Mercedes-Benz Concept Style Coupe takes things to another level. It is by far the coolest and most adventurous car launch I have ever seen.

The issue with car launches is we’ve all seen so many of them before. If you’ve ever been to the Motor Show or Goodwood you will be familiar with the traditional format in which car companies present their latest wares. It can often just be repetition of the same.

The Mercedes launch ran in conjunction with the Transmission LA Festival (AV Club) and was curated by Mike D of the Beastie Boys (for all those who are old enough you will understand the irony in Mike D curating a show for Mercedes…think 80’s kids stealing Mercedes signs to wear around their necks).

Its all part of Mercedes strategy to attract a younger ‘trendier’ crowd to the brand and coincides with their launch of the A-Class later this year.

In my opinion it’s the perfect example of how to credibly take the brand into a younger demographic. Not in the terribly obvious and cheesy way that Toyota have with their Yaris Rap ads (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fT9QKhWVL10) but in a credible way that creates a conversation away from sheets of metal and onto a level with its audience.

In the same vein the latest Peugeot campaign created by Initials for the launch of the new 208 models achieves the same goal. The campaign kicked off with a viral push seeded on YouTube, which features Internet sensation Dubstep dancer Marquese Scott.

The Experiential activity kicked off in April and is currently running through shopping centers nationwide. (http://ow.ly/b44As)

If the Mercedes launch and the Peugeot 208 launch are a sign of things to come in the world of automotive then I welcome this new era. It’s obvious to me that by utilizing experiential in the right way marketers can wake up the consumers who have otherwise been put to sleep by car advertising. 

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Phil Edelston