Mercedes-Benz Promo, Case study BART HICKEY - THE BLIND MOTOR MECHANIC by Fischer Appelt

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BART HICKEY - THE BLIND MOTOR MECHANIC

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Industry Cars
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Germany
Agency Fischer Appelt
Released March 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Automotive and Transport
Advertiser: DAIMLER
Product/Service: MERCEDES-BENZ
Agency: fischerAppelt
Scriptwriter/Editor: Björn Fischer (Fischerappelt)
Managing Director: Mirco Völker (Fischerappelt)
Project Manager: Michael Pickart (Fischerappelt)
Cameraman: Udo Untch (Fischerappelt)
Camera Assistent: Daniel Uebel (Fischerappelt)
Cutter: Harry Kresin (Fischerappelt)
Sound Design: Sebastian Bräuning (Fischerappelt)
Camera Assistent: Bastian Blum (Fischerappelt)
Media placement: Branded Content - Motorvision.de - 23rd September 2011
Media placement: Branded Content - Mercedes-Benz.com - 1st March 2011
Media placement: Branded Content - Jun Auto Mechanic China - 1st March 2011
Media placement: Branded Content - Auto Blog Italia - 25th June 2011
Media placement: Branded Content - Auto Bild.tv - 19th September 2011
Media placement: Branded Content - MB! - 1st March 2011
Media placement: Branded Content - The Auto Industrie Blog - 23rd June 2011
Media placement: Branded Content - Auto.de - 23rd September 2011
Media placement: Branded Content - BenzInsider - 27th June 2011
Media placement: Branded Content - Handwerk.com - 1st March 2011

Summary of the Campaign
Our approach is to win the attention of the internet media by telling true editorial stories about real brand empathy and enthusiasm. About extraordinary people: their life, their passion, their profession. Stories, that spread themselves as PR-content through the net. Telling the real thing led us to find the touching and inspiring story of Bart Hickey – The blind motor mechanic.

The blind Bart Hickey is probably the most committed mechanic Mercedes-Benz has on earth. He’s never seen a Mercedes in his entire life, but his enduring passion for cars and especially for Mercedes-Benz gave him the ability to see with his hands. With amazing precision he’s bringing back the shine to old and damaged cars. That’s why his friends and customers love him.

Our film is focused on the emotional portrait of this authentic character and his profession. The brand values, fascination and perfection, were very subtly communicated through the overall story of Bart. We’ve spread the video over the Mercedes-Benz media platform and on the brands Youtube channel. Within a short time, the extraordinary and emotional video was shared via several blogs and automotive media platforms and achieved international coverage from Germany to China without any media spending.

The Situation
When media is encouraged to cover Mercedes-Benz the stories, they mostly end up in pure brand or product features. So, we’ve decided to choose another road to enthuse the media. The authentic story of “'he blind motor mechanic, Bart Hickey' is a story of brand and automotive passion: A PR story about the brand values without featuring a product.

The Goal
Our approach is to win the attention of the internet media by telling true stories about real empathy and enthusiasm for Mercedes-Benz, about extraordinary people: their life, their passion, their profession. We need Digital PR stories for Mercedes-Benz, that spread themselves through the net.

The Strategy
With the help of an editorial film, we aim to provide an authentic and emotional story about the brand and automotive passion, without the mere featuring of a product.

Therefore, we searched the world for a very special, unique story and we found Bart Hickey, a blind mechanic that is specialized in Mercedes-Benz cars. His story has the potential to become the inspiring spark that is needed for creating and spreading a highly emotional, international PR wildfire and buzz on the net and respective social web. And it perfectly fits to the brand Mercedes-Benz and its brand values.

Execution
Telling the real thing helped us find the touching story of Bart Hickey – the blind motor mechanic.

The blind Bart Hickey is probably the most committed mechanic Mercedes-Benz has on earth, and probably the most authentic brand ambassador we’ve ever found. He’s never seen a Mercedes in his life, but his passion for cars and especially for Mercedes-Benz gave him the ability to see with his hands. With amazing precision he’s bringing back the shine to old and damaged cars.

Our film focuses on the emotional portrait of this authentic character and his profession. The brand values fascination and perfection were subtly communicated through the overall story of Bart.

We’ve placed the video on the Mercedes-Benz platform MB.tv and the brands Youtube channel. Within a short time, the video was shared via blogs and automotive platforms and achieved international coverage from Germany to China without any media spending.

Documented Results
The editorial story of Bart Hickey moved the heart of the people and evolved through the net and press to over 1m users. Viewers on facebook, automotive blogs, craftsman blogs and brand platforms appreciated the touching story of the blind motor mechanic and rewarded us with lots of shares and positive feedback. Alongside its immense viral circulation, the film has continued its success offline via the automotive magazine Auto Bild that published 700,000 copies of a DVD containing our film, without any media spending.

Examples for its distribution:
Motorvision, TheChinese.com, Jun Auto Mechanic China, auto blog italia, Auto Bild.tv, Goshimoto (Japan), The Auto Industrie Blog, United Auto Market, BenzInsider, Civic.com, Beshoff Motor Cars, Handwerk.com, Top Media Sharing, Jalopnik, Zomobo.com, Auto.de, Auto Mechanic Salary, Mercedes-benz.com, Mb!, etc.