Mercedes-Benz DM ONLINE GUERRILLA by N=5

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Industry Cars
Media Direct marketing
Market Netherlands
Agency N=5
Creative Director Lukas Van De Ven, Jeroen Van Der Sluis
Art Director Ed Van Bennekom
Copywriter Jasper Diks
Producer Casper Reus
Released April 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Cars & Automotive Services
Agency: N=5
Date of First Appearance: Apr 8 2011
Entrant Company: N=5, Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
Entry URL:
Art Director: Ed van Bennekom (N=5)
Copywriter: Jasper Diks (N=5)
Producer: Casper Reus (N=5)
Account Director: Willemijn Reuvers (N=5)
Production Assistant: Reinier Steures (N=5)
Graphic Designer: Chris van der Werff (N=5)
Studio Manager: Ralph Bannink (N=5)
Creative Director: Lukas van de Ven (N=5)
Creative Director: Jeroen van der Sluis (N=5)
Media placement: Website - Online - April 8th 2011

Describe the brief/objective of the direct campaign.
The vans of Mercedes-Benz are perceived as expensive. The target audience recognizes the quality of the brand but think the price range is out of their league. While in fact the real price of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van is much more affordable than people expect: a value-for-money strategy. The high-end quality of the vans is always portrayed in combination with a clear and competitive price signal in all communications.
We focussed on new customers who think a Sprinter is not in their price range and because of that look for the competition and a cheaper alternative on the internet.

Describe the creative solution to the brief/objective with reference to the projected response rates and desired outcome.
Instead of promoting the new Sprinter we started selling second hand vans of the competition. On the Dutch Ebay called Marktplaats we placed fake adverts of our competitors. These seem to be normal adverts but when you browse the pictures you see a brand new Sprinter that is parked in the background that says: “The new Sprinter is already available from €19.800,-“ When people call the phone number they hear a voicemail of an angry car salesman that tells you to go to the Mercedes-Benz dealer.
By this the target group realises that the Sprinter is a really affordable option.

Explain why the creative execution was relevant to the product or service.
The strength in the idea is in the simplicity of the idea. Right in the domain of the competition we’ve managed to communicate the affordable price of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Instead of promoting the new Sprinter we chose for a different strategy and started selling to the competition. With this original way of advertising we’ve managed to show our target group that a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a much better option than its competitors.
We used existing media so the only thing we needed to do was make the pictures and promote our campaign.

Describe the results in as much detail as possible with particular reference to the RESPONSE of the target audience including deliverability statistics, response rates, click throughs, sales cost per response, relationships built and overall return on investment.
The adverts where viewed more than 20.000 times in one day, a normal Marktplaats ad just 20 times. Quickly it got picked up by, the biggest car blog in the Netherlands with more than 1 million unique visitors and after that other car blogs followed. It started a buzz on Twitter and also attracted Spits News. We received a large amount of voicemail and e-mail replies of people asking about the Sprinter. Two fake adverts on Marktplaats, a total cost of 150 Euros and a lot of free publicity turned this campaign into a real success.