Cannes Lions

Mercedes-Benz - CLA








Bertha Benz - Carl Benz’ business partner and wife - was instrumental in Mercedes-Benz’ foundation. The film tells the story of the world’s first long distance drive in a car from Mannheim to Pforzheim, Germany in 1888. Early one morning, Bertha took her two sons out for the twelve hour, 106 km / 65 mile trip. She understood the potential of her husband’s invention, and was determined to prove it worked at a time when people were skeptical of this new technology


With this short film about the story of Bertha Benz, Mercedes-Benz wanted to celebrate the visionary woman of its past - and inspire many more to be as bold and fearless in the future. The film was launched on International Women’s Day.


To have a positive impact on more than just Mercedes-Benz, but on the motoring industry and the world at large, we chose to tell a story that championed a visionary. A true story that was shocking in its rejection of gender stereotypes.

The film targeted professional women, for whom Mercedes Benz was irrelevant. We needed these women to reappraise the brand. These women are ambitious and strong-willed, doers who want to achieve. They want to drive a car that reflects this attitude. Currently no car brands suit how they want to be perceived. It might be appealing and attractive, but not signify achievement (Fiat 500) or they are symbols of masculine success (BMW).

Mercedes-Benz had been marketed as a symbol of male prestige for so long, we had a tough job to do. Any sniff of inauthenticity would have made the film a failure. We delved into the story of Bertha Benz, picking up all the small details and historical facts of the first cross-country journey in an automobile. Showing not only our target audience, but the world, that we were serious about championing and supporting visionary women.


Shot like a classic Western with modern stylization, the short film conveys the fear and confusion of the people who witnessed Bertha’s incredible journey, and dramatizes one of her stops along the way. Mechanics didn’t exist, so she went to the pharmacy to find fuel, used her hat pin to clear fuel lines, and her garter for insulation. Her audacity proved to all nay-sayers that the automobile could be the future of mobility – and shaped the industry until today.


- Over 7 mio views in the first few days;

- 16,4 mio impressions on Facebook and YouTube alone

- Very high watch time & completion rate across channels, with 10.134.802min watch time on youtube

- Relevant PR outcome & extremely positive sentiment online

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12 items

1 Award

Publicis Groupe Belgium, Brussels



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