Mercedes holds its own as one of the world's most prestigious luxury brands. Although it is rivalled in the luxury automobile sector by BMW, Audi, Lexus and others, the Mercedes badge arguably carries more status than any of its competitors. Not only does ownership imply wealth, but also a degree of superior taste reflected by the brand's understated and long-established glamour. That badge became a little tarnished in 2004 as quality control slipped and competition increased dramatically. The following year Mercedes was overtaken as the world's top-selling luxury car by BMW. Parent company Daimler launched a major program to re-establish the Mercedes credentials in 2005, and since the demerger of troubled Chrysler a year later has given the Mercedes brand its full attention. The turnaround took a little time, but strong growth after 2010 put Mercedes-Benz back in the #1 position among luxury passenger car brands in 2016, pushing BMW back into second place for the first time for a decade. Registrations for 2019 were almost 2.6m passenger cars. The pandemic depressed global auto sales in 2020, with Mercedes-Benz volumes slipping to 2.37m registrations. The group's GL-series SUVs are now the top-selling range, accounting for 35% of volumes. The group launched its first EQ all-electric passenger car in 2018 and several models are now available in hybrid or all-electric versions. Other subsidiary brands include Mercedes Maybach ultra-luxury sedans and high-performance division Mercedes-AMG. The group's single most important market is now China, which alone accounted for 36% of total deliveries in 2020, more than twice each of the next biggest markets, Germany (14% of deliveries) and the US (12%). Those three territories combined account for close to two-thirds of sales. The Mercedes-Benz brand is shared with a separate range of light commercial vans as well as heavy trucks. Registrations of LCVs slipped to 375k in 2020. The heavy truck business will be spun off in 2021 into a separate quoted entity Daimler Truck, but will continue to use the Mercedes-Benz name under license. To attract a younger, hipper audience, especially in the US, Mercedes has become a high-profile sponsor of fashion events (including Fashion Weeks in New York and London), as well as music events and activities. It also has a long-established presence in Formula 1 racing, currently as Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport. Combined revenues for 2020 from Mercedes Benz Passenger Cars & Vans were €98.6bn, or 64% of Daimler's total sales. Ola Kallenius succeeded longtime Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche in 2019 as group CEO of both Daimler and the Mercedes-Benz division. Markus Schaefer is COO of Mercedes-Benz.
Capsule checked 13th May 2021
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Historical profile information for Mercedes-Benz
Adbrands Daily Update 23rd Mar 2021: "Valet Guys". Now this is why you should never willingly hand over your car to a parking valet unless absolutely necessary. Germany agency Antoni Garage clearly had loads of fun making this new global digital campaign for flagship client Mercedes-Benz. But though immensely entertaining it's also kind of a non-ad ad, in the sense that it's full of discreet disclaimers. Not just the standard "do not attempt" warning but also - and more crucially - ones that tell you that the intelligent self-parking technology illustrated does indeed work as shown, but unfortunately it's not yet legal anywhere in the real world...
Adbrands Daily Update 3rd Feb 2021: Daimler announced a plan to split itself into two entirely separate companies before the end of 2021. Under the proposed arrangement, the group's market-leading trucks and buses division would be split out as a separate entity, majority owned by existing Daimler shareholders, with an IPO planned for a minority stake at the end of 2021. Daimler Truck is already the world's leading truck and bus manufacturer. The remaining Daimler corporate entity would be centred around the Mercedes-Benz passenger car and light commercial vehicles business, and would change its name accordingly to Mercedes-Benz. Full details will be presented to shareholders for their approval in Q3.
Adbrands Daily Update 21st Dec 2020: "Cares For What Matters". The latest big Mercedes-Benz campaign from Antoni Garage brings together three of that brand's biggest brand ambassadors, Roger Federer, Lewis Hamilton and Alicia Keys. Antoni have demonstrated in previous campaigns that they, better than perhaps any other agency, have worked out how to get the best from Federer, getting behind the goofy-shy grin that can be his default position in front of a camera. The idea is to offer a peek behind the curtain at the "real" lives of these three stars. Federer's scenes here - cooped up in a lonely hotel room, celebrity-signing suitcases full of promotional tennis balls - are especially interesting, even a little sad. Meanwhile, Alicia Keys enjoys some down time with her kids, and Lewis Hamilton - in perhaps the least convincing of these vignettes - stops to help a stranded driver. The over-excited faux news reporter soundtrack over-eggs the pudding a little, but it's a fine film nonetheless.
Adbrands Daily Update 14th Jul 2020: "What Moves You". Roger Federer turns in one of his best acting performances to-date (which is not saying much to be honest) in a new campaign from Antoni for Mercedes-Benz. Federer is no great thespian, as he would himself be the first to admit, but he's at his best for his endorsement partners when he keeps that shy-goofy smile firmly under control. The new campaign also allows him a degree of quiet introspection: he's off-court currently because of a knee injury and the script voices some of the inevitable self-analysis that must inevitably torment a 38-year-old athlete who probably realises that his best days are behind him.
Adbrands Social Media 30th Apr 2019: "Play By Your Rules". There are all sorts of reasons not to like Antoni's latest pan-European campaign for Mercedes-Benz - it's really a bit corny, for one thing - but actually the complete package is a real charmer. The ad is; the younger version of the main character is still a total a**hole by the end of the film. But then, weren't we all at that age? Modern millennial executive wakes up one night to discover a stranger in his house. Only it's not a stranger, it's himself as a teenager. And the young version finds everything about modern life a drag - apart from the Mercedes CLA Coupé of course.
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