BCN #clientsfuturetrends - Revolutionary Campaign

Modern luxury, younger target groups, completely new paths in brand communication: these were the key topics BCN discussed with Mercedes-Benz last Thursday.
The story trigger for the second issue of the new BCN format #clientsfuturetrends was the recently launched “Grow-Up” campaign of Mercedes-Benz. The lead agency Antoni created the most extensive content ever in the history of the car manufacturer for the five models of the compact car product line. More than 100 motion picture sequences and over 90 lifestyle images show a generation caught between being young and growing up. Also, the campaign includes more than 100 print ads, some of which are currently to be seen in many Burda media, among others in Focus,Focus Money, Fit for Fun, Harper’s Bazaar, Bunte, Instyle, Foodboom, Playboy and Chip. A customized image motif had been selected for each title, so that advertisement and message should perfectly match the lifestyle of the respective target group.


Automotive communication becomes cooler, more stylish, younger

“The campaign displays a completely new tonality: human, spontaneous, young – being thus the opposite of the current communication trend in the automotive industry. In order to develop such a campaign, at least two actors are needed - an agency that has a strong idea, and a customer that is prepared to accept it” – this is how Michael Samak, Managing Director of BCN and initiator of the event greeted Natanael Sijanta, Director Marketing Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars and Matthias Schmidt, Managing Director of the agency Antoni
How did the idea for the campaign emerge?
“Young professionals living in the Berlin districts Central Berlin and Prenzlauer Berg drive up in front of a laundry with their BMW 1 series every Saturday to bring their shirts of the previous week to the cleaner’s and pick up fresh laundry. They are in their early thirties and think about buying their own flat, marrying, having children and maybe also about buying a smart car. These young people have actually the same bourgeois goals as their parents, but things are a bit different today. This is when the idea: ‘grow up and drive Mercedes’ emerged” Matthias Schmidt, Managing Director of the agency Antoni says.
Between brain and heart
The “Grow-Up” campaign reflects not only the new compact product line of the car manufacturer, but also the basic attitude of the company:
“We at Mercedes are currently experiencing exciting times with a brand that has strongly developed: it is younger and more modern; the products are addressing both the brain and the heart. It is the bipolarity between intelligence and emotion. We have developed a brand that represents modern luxury” Sijanta, Director Marketing Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars explains.
Modern luxury was the topic of the subsequent discussion with Samak, Sijanta, Schmidt and Hans Fink, Managing Director BurdaStudios and Miriam Stein, Features Director Harper’s Bazaar. But what does modern luxury really mean?
Become part of the customer’s lives
“An essential aspect of modern luxury today is time”, said Sijanta. “To take one’s time, to respect and value the time of the others and use it in a sensible way.” Miriam Stein interpreted modern luxury in terms of the future: “We live in a world, in which visions of the future have become more and more difficult. This is why the perspective gained in importance: we are not only looking at the present or tradition, but we also considering how the future will look like and build visions, create trends and speak to the heart.”  
Modern luxury is a trend of the younger target group. “In order to address young people we focus on innovative event and video formats – as well as younger protagonists, such as Felix Jaehn at the Bambi Awards last year”, Hans Fink explains. Mercedes also finds new ways to address the younger target group: “Social media plays an increasingly important role in our communication”, Sijanta admitted. “We want to become part of our customer’s lives and get in touch with them via various touch points.”
Relevant content
If brand communication becomes increasingly digital, what role does print play in the communication mix? - Samak asked. Sijanta: “It depends on what we intend to achieve with the customer, which touch points we choose and then play out our messages. Digital play-out focuses increasingly on mobile devices, which means that only small screens are available to us. Therefore, we still value big format visual effects as they are to be found in print magazines.”
Against the background of the increasing use of ad blocks, however, the content is becoming more and more important in the brand communication of Mercedes: “In future the success of our campaigns depends greatly on the intelligent use of data, so that we will be able to play-out relevant content for the customers in a more specific and personalized way. We have to rapidly switch to a 1:1 communication with the customer and develop with the support and expertise of the media new native ad and dialogue formats”, Sijanta explains.