OK, i do not come here to mock. Let me get that out of the way.
I come here to help.
Merkley Newman Partners in NYC (also Mercedes Benz’ agency) recently produced THIS idea. please click to view
Perhaps tellingly, the video is not freely available online, hence my need to link.
why would anyone do that in 2011? To “control” the message i guess. Very 2005 PR thinking. at least act like you’re proud of the work. it’s a good execution and a cool product, you’ll be fine!
The video is basically a series of random not very likeable people saying “BIG” over and over again.
And then the SMART car appears, presumably as the antidote to all this bigness and badness.
i can guarantee you that this ad will not sell Americans on the Smart car.
How do i know this? I’ll tell you how.
I drove a Mercedes Smart car in the midwest of America for two years. Way before it was cool and mainstream. I was a SMART pioneer.
And let me tell you, it wasn’t easy being a pioneer.
People looked at me like i was driving a motorized easy chair.
These were the three most popular questions i would get asked on a daily basis:
1. “Is that thing electric?” No ma’am, it’s not. It’s gas driven. This question got really old.
2. “Do you take that thing on the highway?”, said in a highly incredulous voice. My response that I did in fact take it on the highway was frequently met with awe and wonder. This was usually followed by asking would happen if i got hit by a truck or something horrible like that. You could tell safety was a big concern of the average American.
3. “What kind of mileage do you get on that thing?” Here I would flat out lie and usually claim some astronomical mpg just for fun. I honestly didn’t know. But i do know that it wasn’t nearly what you might think. I think the Mini Cooper got better mileage per gallon.
Americans love cars. And there was a lot of curiousity about my SMART car. And i was, usually, happy to be a brand ambassador.
But any advertising that doesn’t address the obvious, basic questions Americans have about the SMART car is simply missing the mark.
UPDATE: I think THIS GUY made some great points
UPDATE 2: An “un agency” undid this un big idea.