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, 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. However the badge became a little tarnished in 2004 as quality control slipped and competition increased dramatically. 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 complete attention. Strong growth since 2010 put Mercedes-Benz back in the #1 position among luxury car brands in 2016, for the first time for a decade.
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Adbrands Weekly Update 18th Oct 2018: Mercedes-Benz named Bettina Fetzer as its new head of passenger car marketing. She takes over from Jens Thiemer, who left the group abruptly in June and has yet to reappear elsewhere. Fetzer was previously head of products & brand PR.
Adbrands Weekly Update 27th Sep 2018: Daimler's long-serving leader Dieter Zetsche will step down from an executive role next year after 12 years as CEO to become chairman of the automaker's supervisory board. He will be replaced as chairman of the management board, and also as head of Mercedes-Benz cars, by Ola Kallenius, currently board member for research and development.
Adbrands Social Media 30th Aug 2018: "The First Driver". According to corporate legend, the first person to take the first ever automobile for a drive was not in fact its inventor Karl Benz - later to become the founder of Mercedes-Benz - but his wife Bertha, who took it out for a spin without his knowledge. This year is the 130th anniversary of that surreptitious pleasure-drive, and R/GA is celebrating the milestone with a nice little film. It probably stretches the truth a bit (though the garter detail is apparently true). And those title cards are unnecessary and a tad annoying, even if they are intended to provide an echo of silent-era movies. However, it's a cute reminder that in some areas, female empowerment started early.
Adbrands Weekly Update 12th Jul 2018: Ads of the Week "Never Stop Improving". Mercedes-Benz continues to chase moneyed millennials with this explosive campaign from current lead German agency Antoni. It's a slightly odd mix of cultural influences, melding what is arguably the ultimate establishment athlete, Roger Federer, with up and coming South African sprinter Akani Simbine and rising German rap star Serious Klein. And all for a car whose ticket price starts at €35,000. We're pretty certain Roger Federer doesn't listen to rap (we figure him as a classical symphonies type of guy), but somehow the whole thing works brilliantly. It raises the question of what will happen to independent agency Antoni's position on the Mercedes account now the global business has been consolidated with newly created Publicis Emil. Is this a swansong, or a new beginning?
Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Jun 2018: In marketer moves, Mercedes-Benz marketing chief Jens Thiemer has left the company "at his own request and with immediate effect," according to a statement. His departure comes only a couple of months after he concluded a review of Mercedes' global creative duties with the appointment of a dedicated Publicis Groupe entity, Publicis Emil, and before that shift takes effect this coming weekend.
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