Bronze: Best Vehicle-Based Campaign 2015

  • Campaign: Evolution Tour
  • Brand: Mercedes-Benz
  • Agency: Engine Shop

To show Millennials that its vehicles were evolving with the times and no longer only for older, more-conservative consumers, Mercedes-Benz evolved its promotional efforts in a big way: by going on tour with several rock bands for what was the automaker’s first attempt at a large-scale, solely owned nationwide campaign.

The eight-city tour was introduced via a digital hub built by Mercedes and agency Engine Shop in partnership with music-industry website Visitors to the site could view custom videos from the participating music acts, including Alabama Shakes, Mayer Hawthorne, and Young the Giant; learn about test-driving a Mercedes CLA or GLA; and enter to win tickets to the shows. The campaign also provided an easier way for consumers to earn concert tickets: The week prior to each show, Mercedes visited the area to showcase its vehicles and offer test-drives; all participants received free tickets.

The vehicles were also displayed at each concert, and visitors could get a photo, designed for social sharing, taken against a lenticular wall that displayed a CLA backdrop when viewed from some angles and a GLA background from other angles. An art exhibit also provided plenty of Instagram moments, as did the DIY T-shirt station, where attendees could design their own shirt using one of four Mercedes-inspired graphics created by street artist Mr. Brainwash. In fact, Mr. Brainwash was on hand at the New York and Los Angeles shows to create a piece of art with a GLA as his canvas. Further adding to the experience were goodies from partners including Fiji Water, Keurig, Pop Chips, and Kind Bar.

Attendance at the eight shows exceeded 12,700 in all, with more than 265 million social impressions. Purchase consideration rose 26% for the CLA and 32% for the GLA, fueled in part by more than 2,900 test-drives.