3 mins to read

Ad man has smashing time

Tue, 24 Aug 2010

There’s an advertising industry anecdote from a fair few years ago about an ad man with an expensive car. Legend has it this car was a nice, shiny, speedy Lotus.

He went to lunch at SPQR, parked the Lotus outside, got completely mothered, tried to do a U-turn from standstill and crashed into something. (Probably an unsuspecting Toyota Levin.)

If that happened today, he’d probably be driving a Mercedes SLS Gullwing. Now that isn’t to say that the Gullwing is the car for drink-drivers (which Ad Hoc does not condone, oh no siree). Or the car for wankers – which we also don’t condone.

(Frankly, the Lotus is probably more of a wanker’s choice of automobile. One ad man who worked in New Zealand briefly last year claimed he’d crashed a whole string of them. He also had a diamante keyring and winklepickers. You do the math.)

Anyway, the Gullwing is the trump car for 2010, I’ve decided, particularly for ad men needing transport to SPQR for lunch.

It costs $450,000, but do not panic; the Mercedes-Benz website helpfully provides a finance calculator so you can figure out how much your monthly payments would be, should you choose to purchase one.

After all, what better way to wave goodbye to the global financial crisis? To watch it rapidly disappear in your rearview mirror?

The Gullwing is on tour around New Zealand until October. Justin Bieber is the opening act. Mercedes Benz is holding open days at dealerships all over the place so you can go have a peek.

To give you an idea of how choice it is, it accelerates from 0 to 100kmh in just 3.8 seconds. Imagine the possibilities. The possums would never see you coming. They'd never have time to collect their diamante keyrings and don their winklepickers. Oh the humanity.

I feel like you can’t even call the Gullwing a car. It's not really a car, is it? It's more like a mojo machine.

There are only nine cars mojo machines destined for New Zealand this year, which means ad men are going to have to compete for the honour.

(Dedicated petrol-heads can click here for TVC excitement.)

Auckland agency Running With Scissors picked up the Mercedes-Benz business some time back. (It was previously a Colenso BBDO account.)

RWS has created a simple and shiny campaign for the Gullwing that includes press ads, an eDM, TVCs, radio ads, billboards, and possums. (See below.)

The idea is to communicate that you don’t have to be in the market for a new car in order to visit a Mercedes-Benz showroom, and that the brand covers many different types of car.

RWS boss 1 of 3 Friday O’Flaherty, who has probably eaten lunch at SPQR but has never crashed a Lotus, said the feedback from the mojo machine’s Newmarket dealership showing was great.

“We had about 350 to 400 people coming through the dealership on the open days – excluding the VIP night.”

Research by Mercedes-Benz and FiftyFive5 showed that consumers had little awareness of the car range beyond its luxury sedans.

“In Europe the brand is well known for its extensive range but in New Zealand, the popularity of the sedans have made that the focus here.

“We also learned that visiting a Mercedes-Benz showroom can be a bit intimidating for first time European car buyers. So by encouraging the public to come into a showroom and see a beautifully designed sports car we’ve begun the process of changing perceptions.

“It’s all about breaking down barriers.”

Mercedes-Benz brand manager Kelly Harvey said there’s been a great deal of anticipation associated with the new Gullwing mojo machine

“We’re really pleased to welcome the public into our showrooms to take a look. The open days in Auckland have been a great success and we’d encourage everyone to come in and take a look when the tour reaches their local dealership.”

Take me to SPQR.

SPQR. Take me now.

We'll eat lunch. Steak, maybe.

Some shoestring fries. But no wine.

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Ad man has smashing time