Friday, October 5, 2012

Mercedes Benz - #YOUDRIVE

Mercedes, AMV BBDO, & Stink have developed an innovative idea to help launch the new Mercedes Benz A-class.  On Saturday, October 6th viewers are invited to take part in #YOUDRIVE a campaign that's being billed as a social media first (at least in the UK).

Using Twitter, viewers will drive the action of a 3-part story that will be shown during the commercial breaks in the X Factor.  The spots center around a musician and a professional driver who are chased by 'the man' on the way to a secret gig.  In practice users are invited to choose what the characters should do next by voting on Twitter with the hashtag #YOUDRIVE.  Think of it as choose-your-own-adventure on a massive scale and brought into the television experience.  But wait...there's more!  The spots will also direct viewers to the lovely Mercedes Benz YOUDRIVE YouTube channel where they can view the ads as well as create their own story.  The final ad will also show the voting percentage /breakdown for each choice. 

This is quite an effort.  Obviously each of the possible decision paths had to be shot and readied for the voting outcome, but it actually pays of the much bandied about term of social TV viewing.  David George, marketing director of Mercedes-Benz UK, said the new A-Class vehicle represents a "new, younger, more dynamic' & that it's 'a modern Mercedes-Benz that encourages people to do what we know they enjoy – to get involved.'

What I find fascinating about this idea (and 'social TV' in general), is that the creative can't be separated from the media.  In other words, this idea, this execution only works if the media placement is spot on.  In order for this to be a success it needs to run against a TV program that is considering destination viewing, where liveness is important, and where the audience is passionate enough about the show that you can pretty much guarantee that they'll be around for the second spot and ultimately the following week for the third spot.  It's interesting to see how new creative ideas and formats (see the Coke Polar Bears during the Superbowl) emerge around premium programming where the 'liveness' guarantees a large and captive audience.

So check out the trailer below & if you're in the UK you can use this campaign as a good excuse for why you're actually watching X-Factor
Additional Articles: Brand Channel | Campaign