From Hugo Boss Model to Mercedes-Benz Tramp

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Mercedes-Benz brings a lot of things to mind: quality, tradition, engineering. Now a Berlin performance artist is associating the brand with something unexpected: hitchhiking.

Street photographer and former Hugo Boss model Stefan Gbureck says he is following the Beat Generation tradition of the freedom of the road — only in Europe, and in luxury vehicles.

In the past few weeks, he has set out to hitchhike Europe with only one plan: to hitch a ride in Mercedes-Benz cars only. He is blogging about his experiences at Tramp a Benz, including a 2-day stopover in Montpellier, France … until he found a Benz willing to take him on (there could be worse things).

While Mercedes-Benz isn’t sponsoring the adventure, it has mentioned Gbureck’s adventure on its Facebook page (with more than 2,800 “likes” for the post), while the Benz backpacker is also posting updates on his Facebook page from the road.[more]

The hitchhiking challenge is actually a great marketing move for the carmaker, even if it didn’t come up with it itself.

Adding a little adventure and youthful flavor to a brand that some might see as prestigious, but staid, certainly couldn’t be a bad thing, and Gbureck has been doing a great job of offering a glimpse of the real people who drive Mercedes-Benz.

He’s now nearing the end of this journey, in Barcelona. For his next tramp, perhaps the automaker could lend him a car and see what kind of stories he could create?

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