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. However the 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 almost-complete attention. Strong growth since 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 2.49m passenger cars, making Mercedes-Benz the world's #9 best-selling automobile brand, narrowly ahead of BMW. The group's GL-series SUVs are now the top-selling range, accounting for 35% of volumes. The group launched its first all-electric passenger car, the Mercedes-Benz EQC in 2018. 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 accounted for 28% of total deliveries in 2018, twice as much as each of the next biggest markets, the US and Germany. Those three territories combined account for more than half of all sales. The Mercedes-Benz brand is shared with a separate range of light commercial vans as well as heavy trucks. Registrations of LCVs hit a new high of 438k vehicles. 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 2019 from Mercedes Benz Passenger Cars were €93.9bn, or 54% of Daimler's total sales. Passengers cars and vans were consolidated that year in a new group entity, Mercedes-Benz AG, under the Daimler umbrella. Ola Kallenius succeeded longtime Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche in 2019 as group CEO of both Daimler and the Mercedes-Benz division.
Capsule checked 3rd October 2019
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Historical profile information for Mercedes-Benz
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.
Adbrands Social Media 21st Mar 2019: "Justify Nothing". In a big headline pitch last year, Publicis won the global creative account for Mercedes-Benz with the creation of a new dedicated entity Publicis Emil. That seemed to bode ill for incumbent agencies like German independent Antoni. Well, Emil can forget about ever getting its hands on lead creative if Antoni keep putting out ads like this superb film, filmed in region-non-specific Portugal and made in English (like the Bertha Benz spot we featured last week) but in a such a way it can be language-adapted for almost any country. It's a brilliant piece of work, emotionally rich, quirky when it needs to be and featuring a fine central performance by Irish actor David Wilmot. It even contains a set of other life lesson vignettes that can be carved out as shorter ads in their own right, like the pregnant couple and the dad in a princess dress. A lovely little film.
Adbrands Social Media 11th Mar 2019: "The Journey That Changed Everything". Bizarrely, Daimler commissioned German creative boutique Antoni to remake an ad R/GA already produced for the Mercedes-Benz brand last August. It's the true story of Bertha Benz, wife of Carl Benz, who was himself the inventor of the first ever automobile. Unfortunately, Carl was a bit of a shrinking violet in some respects, so it was wife Bertha who did more than anyone else to demonstrate the possibilities of the machine, not least by undertaking the first ever long-distance car journey from her own home in Mannheim to her parents' house in Pforzheim, 65 miles away. She broke down halfway, and was obliged to use a hatpin and her garter to fix the problem. You'd already know all that if you saw R/GA's version last August. However, in honour of International Women's Day, Antoni were granted a very much bigger budget to tell exactly the same story, with the benefit of cinematic photography, lavish production values and plenty of local colour. As a result, it's a considerably more satisfying piece of work. We bet R\GA were a bit peeved when they found out someone else got more money to make exactly the same film.
Adbrands Social Media 16th Jan 2019: "Let Them Eat Dust". The latest from Australian indie The Royals for Mercedes-Benz suggests that their new X-class V6 pickup can defeat any other vehicle from car and bike to kayak and helicopter. Well that's pushing it a bit perhaps, but it makes for an entertaining ride. You, like us, might have noticed an odd habit of Aussies and Kiwis of always referring to flat-bed pick-ups like this as "Utes". It's a term that only exists in Australia and New Zealand. If I tell you that it's pronounced "Yoots", you might guess correctly that it's an abbreviation for what was originally described as a "utility vehicle". As Michael Caine *yootsed* to say: "Not a lot of people know that".
Adbrands Social Media 9th Dec 2018: "In The Long Run". One of the great gifts social media has brought to the marketing community is the conduit it offers for extended "sponsored" films that could never exist in any other advertising medium. This lovely film from Antoni Berlin for Mercedes-Benz is a perfect example. It's hardly an ad - the product is on-screen for less than 20 seconds out of the four and a half minute total running time. More like a cinematic short story, the tale of a fractured mother and daughter relationship, and of one woman's personal strength and her will to win. It's a compelling and sensitively presented human drama, given added emotional impact by the surprise unveiled in the closing frames.
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