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How Mercedes-Benz Uses Influencers to Reach Millennials

How do you reach a new target audience with a well-established brand they might not relate to? Well, we could certainly tell you; it’s just one of the things we do. However, you could also ask Mercedes-Benz USA. The world-renowned brand recently undertook a high-impact marketing campaign, successfully tailoring it to engage a younger target audience.

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The Challenge

Like all luxury brands, Mercedes have a reputation to live up to whenever they run a marketing campaign. It’s never just a case of identifying a new audience, then tailoring traditional and digital marketing materials to suit the demographic – you have to be much smarter. One problem Mercedes faced was that of affordability. They weren’t going to simply design and manufacture a car that would be more affordable, as this wouldn’t fit their brand. So, how did they do it?

The Campaign

Acknowledging the financial problem the new audience might encounter, Mercedes adopted a unique strategy – to make millennials aspire to own one of their cars. From October 15 to November 9, Mercedes ran the #AClassBucketList campaign across their social media channels. People were encouraged to post on Instagram with the #, tag in @MercedesBenzUSA, and explain to the luxury brand why they wanted to ‘tick’ owning an A-Class Mercedes off their own bucket list.

The Methods

Mark Aikman, Mercedes-Benz USA’s general manager of marketing services, was delighted to announce that Mercedes were the first automotive brand to advertise using Instagram Stories. However, the campaign was much more than simply an ingenious stab in the dark at innovation. Aikman confirmed that Mercedes had worked meticulously to ensure that “core targeting” was at the forefront of the strategy, ensuring that the campaign was always “fishing where the fish are,” – in this case, on Instagram.

The next, and most crucial, step was in creating compelling content that the targeted audience would immediately be receptive to. Mercedes teamed up with a range of social media influencers across social channels, including YouTube influencer Devin Super Tramp. The extreme-sport videographer created a video, called “the Ultimate Race”, pitting a Mercedes against a parkour athlete and a radio-controlled car on an obstacle course.

The Outcome

The video fitted with Mark Aikman’s vision of Mercedes using compelling content to make people feel genuinely ‘wowed’ by what’s on offer. He also acknowledged the importance of influencers in all contemporary campaigns: “influencers can help us to tell stories that we cannot do by ourselves.” The Devin Super Tramp video alone generated more than 2 million views – and the videographer was one of around 25 influencers the luxury brand engaged with over the last year or so, while reaching out to younger people.

The data generated throughout the campaign was analysed and immediately utilised as the #AClassBucketList campaign, and others run by Mercedes, progressed. This way, Mercedes were also able to optimise its content for different platforms, recognising that something popular on LinkedIn or Instagram might not be as popular on Snapchat, and vice versa.

Ultimately, Mercedes reached its target audience and retained their attention. It firmly planted in many, many minds that, one day, although not always today, a luxury vehicle would be purchased. Creating customers for the future, without damaging the status of the brand, the campaign was an incredible success. Between October 15 and November 9, 2018, more than 200 million people saw the stories Mercedes had created and, crucially, created specifically for them.

If you would like to experience and deliver personalised advertising campaigns to your audience, or tap into a completely new demographic, then get in touch with Socially Powerful we work with a wide range of automotive influencers,