Cannes Lions

MERCEDES-BENZ USA

RAZORFISH, New York / MERCEDES BENZ / 2012

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As Mercedes-Benz celebrated 125 years of innovation, competitors have been positioning the brand as old and stodgy, Our Challenge was to Introduce a legendary automaker to a new generation of consumers.3 Days, 4 Teams, 1400 miles… Powered only by Tweets! On Feb. 2, 2011, four two-person driving teams recruited on Facebook embarked on their challenge. Powered only by the Tweets of their online supporters, teams were in charge of creating engagement to literally drive them forward in real Mercedes-Benz vehicles.Conducted on Twitter and chronicled in real time at www.mbtweetrace.com, the race generated vast amounts of wholly unfiltered content from teams and supporters — bringing every aspect of the competition to life. As the bond between participants grew, the race reached millions of people and created connections between the brand and a new audience.Previously quiet across social media channels, this campaign was designed to mark the brand’s first foray into social media in a way that was bold, far-reaching and demonstrative of a luxury auto leader. The objective was to engage prospects, owners and enthusiasts alike and introduce this legendary brand to a new generation of consumers using social media. It was an opportunity to make a definitive move in response to competitors’ attempts to label the brand as old and stodgy.RESULTS:The campaign generated 1,949 race applicants and 72,000 new Facebook fans. At the launch of the campaign, Mercedes-Benz had no Twitter followers. By the races’ conclusion, the following grew to over 77,000 and generated over 545MM Twitter impressions, including 21,000 active participants. The Tweet Race videos reached #2 on the Ad Age viral video chart with over 2MM video views, and one of the team’s hash tags became a trending topic during the race.The business goal to raise brand appeal among the Gen-Y audience was achieved by a 5% increase in site visitors under the age of 34 in a pre/post campaign survey. The business goal to enhance brand awareness of the C-Class Coupe was achieved by a 150% increase in daily blogosphere conversations in a pre/post-campaign analysis.The result was a highly engaging branded experience of an offline adventure fueled by online communities. MBUSA supported the program with an interactive microsite where users tracked their team’s Tweets and location on a map, viewed updates from @MBtweetraceHQ, and linked to all content produced by the teams and their followers along the way.

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