Posted by Shirley Brady on June 26, 2012 11:58 AM
Automakers have been panicking throughout the recession that Gen Y is abandoning the American dream of car ownership (forget home ownership). The answer: create buzz and a cool factor by targeting the creative class. The above photo doesn't look like a custom publishing project by an automaker, and that's the whole point.
Mercedes-Benz is positioning The Avant/Garde Diaries as a digital project, curating interviews, video and photos promoting its events appealing to not-always-affluent but certainly influential creatives in key cities. It all kicked off with the brand's Transmission 1 event in Berlin, continued with Movement Copenhagen then the recent Transmission LA - AV hybrid arts/music/digital happening in Los Angeles curated by the Beastie Boys' Mike D.
Last week saw the opening of A/D's editorial office, at the corner of Broome and Mott Streets in New York's Nolita neighborhood, whith hipster fave photographer Cobrasnake on hand to photograph the 700 guests who attended.
The so-called "avant-garde" branded content/entertainment series echoes Intel's The Creators Project with Vice — and makes you wonder what happenings of the 1950s and '60s would have been like had they been sponsored by brands. The answer: they wouldn't have. Although Andy Warhol probably would have let, say, Ford sponsor the last days of the Factory.