Seeing your adolescent son get stood up on his first date must be right up there on the list of things no parent wants to go through. Who wants to see a child in emotional pain, their hopes crushed? Yet, disappointment is part of life and is something everyone experiences at one time or another.
This poignant spot, "Snow Date" from Mercedes-Benz USA taps into that universal truth but also adds a touching ending. It is Christmas, after all. The automaker is hoping the ad will help build a more emotional connection with customers this holiday period and marks a shift in strategic direction to make the brand more approachable.
There's a cute twist at the end, allowing Mercedes-Benz to save the day, of course, making the overarching point that this brand's autos will get you anywhere, no matter what the weather is doing. The ad showcases 4MATIC, Mercedes’s all-wheel drive system, but instead of blinding viewers with engineering and science, it shows the system in action and why that matters.
Mercedes Benz USA general manager of marketing services Mark Aikman says, "The message inside 'Snow Date' is one that does not have to speak to the technical feats of the system. Instead it shows the reason that many of our customers buy 4MATIC: safety, performance, and ultimately the freedom to live your life when Mother Nature tries to interrupt."
Aikman reveals that the idea for "Snow Date" came after Mercedes-Benz USA VP of marketing Drew Slaven "leveraged his paternal instincts" to shape the spot, and the brand’s long-term lead creative agency Merkley + Partners developed the campaign.
The ad was directed by veteran lensman Noam Murro (who helmed 300: Rise of an Empire and an upcoming adaptation of Watership Down for Netflix), and Aikman feels the choice of director was crucial, "Noam is an award-winning, A-list director who brings amazing cinematography and a wonderfully composed touch to his projects," he says. "His ability to direct talent to get warm, subtle performances is terrific. A shrug, a look, a gesture can say so much, and, as our film has very little dialogue, these were all used to great effect."
Aikman says that even though this spot taps into some of spirit of the holiday season, the new approach is not just for Christmas and we can expect more emotional ads from the brand from now on.