Test Drive

by Ben Perreira

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Not yet two years after Mercedes-Benz announced its sponsorship of the New Orleans Superdome to the confusion of some who follow this kind of thing, its crafty sports marketing strategy is emerging. And I love it.

Last night I was driving and listening to the Dodgers on LA’s Fox Sports 570AM, one of my favorite things to do. I heard the golden voice of Vin Scully explain how it now was the best time buy a new Mercedes-Benz and that they are more affordable than ever. This was just the takeaway. The creative execution was much better.

I dig this for a few reasons:

  1. Local activation. I will buy anything Vin Scully is selling.
  2. Mercedes-Benz is going after a ripe market – those who consume live sports, not DVR-ing programming.
  3. They go after affordability without mentioning a price point or using the urgency of a promotion. The company didn’t need to adjust the price to use this strategy. Margins!
  4. It’s high risk, high reward. Fans may reject it altogether if they see Mercedes-Benz as a brand that is priced out of their range. However, sports fans are more brand loyal and younger. That means you get customers now and have a greater chance of selling them another car. Again, margins!

Margins are critical to the equation. Who says advertisers only care about spending clients’ money? Our salaries come from growing or maintaining margins!

Bravo, Mercedes-Benz. May other brands be so clever.

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