Not every star is light-years away: from mid-June onward, selected airports in Europewill become places where automobile dreams can come true. A large bed, positioned between the check-in counter and the rows of seats for waiting passengers, will invite potential customers to take a test drive in the new Mercedes-Benz CLC sports coupe. This highly unusual marketing activity is part of a wide-ranging campaign to mark the launch of the new CLC. The central slogan of the campaign, which extends across the full range of marketing channels, is “What car do you drive when you’re dreaming?” And its key message is that for a mere €28,000 the CLC offers an attractive and reasonably priced entry into the Mercedes-Benz coupe family.
“The CLC is a vehicle that appeals to the emotions, particularly to young people’s desire to own a car that has a great performance and is a lot of fun to drive. Alongside a classic marketing campaign, we’re therefore also using new types of advertising, which place more emphasis on the personal experience of the vehicle,” says Dr. Olaf Göttgens, Vice President Brand Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars. “This primarily includes exclusive driving events that give customers the chance to enjoy at first hand the many exciting features of the CLC, as well as an interactive online campaign and all kinds of marketing activities on the part of the dealerships.” Directly after the world premiere of the CLC at the Mercedes-Benz Berlin Fashion Week in January 2008, Mercedes-Benz launched a special cell phone marketing campaign featuring a personal video message or voice call from the brand ambassador and top model Eva Padberg.
The integrated marketing campaign for the CLC was launched in Europe at the beginning of June. This comprises a wide-ranging information and mailing package for dealerships as well as ads in the print media, a TV commercial, a microsite, and exclusive test drive events.
“Dreamcatchers” for individual test drive events
With the help of “dreamcatchers,” Mercedes-Benz is directly targeting existing and, most especially, potential customers. The focus here, as with all of the marketing activities in the campaign, is the key slogan “What car do you drive when you’re dreaming?” A bed positioned prominently in highly frequented locations – such as airports, shopping malls, and automobile shows – serves to promote exclusive test drives in the “dream car” – the new CLC. In a continuation of the theme, specially branded pillows and eyeshades in airplanes invite passengers to experience the car of their dreams. Similarly, the door hanger in selected hotels encourages guests not only to dream of the new sports coupe but also to fulfill that fantasy.
Print media ads and a TV commercial
The print campaign continues with the theme of the CLC as an affordably priced entry into the MB sports coupe family. The images selected for the campaign show the car from a range of angles designed to accentuate its elegance, dynamism, and agility. They are combined with a variety of punchy statements such as “Dreams usually get overtaken by reality – here the reverse is true” and “Not every star is light-years away.” The print campaign, which features three ads, will run in high-circulation general-interest and lifestyle magazines as well as daily newspapers.
Meanwhile, the TV commercial for the new CLC, as broadcast on major public and private stations, shows that even little boys are dreaming of the Mercedes-Benz star. Shot in a restaurant, the ad shows a young boy being introduced to his mother’s new partner. The boy is at first obviously indifferent, but then he starts to study the man in some detail and is eventually won over by the sight of his car – the new CLC.