Mercedes Puts Cars In Back Seat In Web Music-Video Show

The Wall Street Journal, Wednesday, March 26, 2008 12 PM
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In launching its own music show on its own Internet-based television station, Mercedes-Benz is shifting attention away from individual cars, and instead drawing attention to the brand itself. Typically, car companies promote themselves by advertising their latest sedan or station wagon, but "Mixed Tape Music Magazine" is an attempt to reach out to youngsters with interests "beyond cars," Mercedes says.

The monthly online show featuring video clips by artists such as Jennifer Lopez and Mark Ronson hopes to draw the "customers of tomorrow" and get them to associate the brand with being hip. The shift toward non-automotive themes comes amid a general boom in Internet-based advertising by automotive firms.

A marketing plan that puts the cars--the real subject--in the back seat has worked for Mercedes rival BMW, which in 2001 launched a series of eight short films made by celebrity directors. The movies, which discreetly feature BMWs, were published on a BMW site and on YouTube, and received 100 million views online, on DVD, via TiVo and through other distribution channels, BMW says.
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