Mercedes Brand Gets Bent Out of Shape


What the heck is going on at Mercedes-Benz? The latest high-rotation US campaign from the elder statesman of auto luxury has opted for downright aggressive, almost violent, messaging and imagery.  

For a brand most associated with classic, tasteful luxury, it appears to have slammed too much Red Bull. Or maybe it got divorced, got its ear pierced and started wearing Ed Hardy t-shirts.[more]

In addition to the spot at top, which shows a middle-aged driver grinding a new C-Class through a corner drift like some punk teenager who lifted his dad’s car keys, Mercedes has released a companion ad called “Unchained”:

While it’s not quite partying with Cheech and Chong, the tire-peeling, chain- and glass-shattering C-Class coupe ad feels more appropriate for the Dodge’s reborn Challenger muscle car. In fact, a 2010 Dodge Challenger commercial already did Mercedes one better by dropping the music to heighten and enhance the (agressive) mood:

Sure, Mercedes may be angry that it may lose out to Audi in 2011 luxury sales, but does it need to let that anger flow freely? Is Mercedes’ answer to Audi’s accusations of being “old luxury” to drink a bottle of bourbon and pick a fistfight with everyone in the bar?

We recently took Mercedes to task for its grammatically questionable “less doors” line in the above spot, speculating that it may have been an inside joke. But now blogger Alex Leo draws attention to an awkwardly phrased call-out on the Mercedes-Benz Facebook page … and, well, we’re left wondering.