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Mercedes-Benz ‘Grow Up’ campaign: Tapping into an urban subculture

Last year, Mercedes-Benz launched a new global brand campaign titled “Grow Up” to resonate with the Millennials. The campaign decided to focuses on qualities of Millennials without having to compromise the values of the generation before.

To localise the content, event agency Sumo Eleven was appointed to generate product awareness of the full compact car line up, with authentic positioning of each model to cater to the different lifestyles of Millennials. The campaign was listed as a finalist in the Best Idea – Launch/Re-launch category in MARKies 2018 Malaysia. Here’s what they did.

This post was done in conjunction with Sumo Eleven.

The problem

The Mercedes-Benz #UrbanHunting movement is a hunt for thrills and adventures in the city, seeking out the latest trends, hotspots and experiences. Each completed “hunt” is a “badge” worthy to be broadcasted on social platforms.

In 2017, Mercedes-Benz launched a new global brand campaign “Grow Up” under the urban hunting movement to reach a younger target demographic – the Millennials. The campaign focuses on qualities of Millennials without compromising the values of the generation before, just like how the Mercedes-Benz compact cars bring modern design and technology without compromising on its quality.

To match the aspirations of the new generation car buyers in Malaysia, Mercedes-Benz released an A-Class premium compact SUV designed for the active lifestyle of the Millennials. The 2017 facelifted GLA catered to young car buyers looking for style, technology and performance.

The solution

Event agency Sumo Eleven understood that Millennials value experiences, love consuming and sharing content and are eager to grow up and aspire for experiences, which symbolise their arrival at adulthood.

To localise the global “Grow Up” campaign, its strategy was to involve car buying Millennials in the urban hunting movement.

According to Mark Raine, VP, sales and marketing passenger cars, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia, the urban hunting movement, was inspired by the Mercedes-Benz family of compact cars that  revolutionised the premium compact car segment in the industry. These progressive automobiles are seen as the “perfect companion” to a new generation of urban hunters, natives of the concrete jungle who live the active lifestyle personified by these cars.

“As such, it is of paramount importance that the events we organise for urban hunting accurately reflect the tone of the movement and deliver the right experience to our customers and fans,” Raine said.

The objective

Sumo Eleven’s aim was to generate product awareness of the full compact car line up with authentic positioning of each model to cater to the different lifestyles of Millennials. As such, it adapted the global “Grow Up” campaign into the local scene to be more approachable for the affluent Malaysian Millennials under the urban hunting movement.

The execution

The agency took a three-step approach in engaging these urban hunters, by tapping into their desires for real stories and unique experiences which respected their journey to adulthood.

Firstly, it ignited conversations across digital and print platforms based on the theme “Grow Up Your Way”, to reflect the growing up journey of Millennials. Sumo Eleven handpicked four new generation key opinion leaders to craft content, which chronicled their personal experiences growing up through different phases of their lives, their constant learning, and progress towards achieving their goals.

Secondly, it revved up the excitement with an event to celebrate their growing up journey and present these grown up Millennials with the “key to adulthood” – the new limited edition facelifted GLA car. In one evening, the “#UrbanHunting x Grow Up Festival” was the synthesis of three key components: car reveal, celebration of adulthood, and the re-expression of Mercedes-Benz as modern, progressive and dynamic.

Thirdly, the agency placed the Millennials in the driver’s seat with an organised destination drive titled #Urban Hunting x #UltraStarDrive. This was to allow the Millennials to experience the performance of the car and luxurious lifestyle of the brand. In addition to the driving expedition, Sumo Eleven took advantage of urban hunters’ passion points of music and parties to indulge them with exclusive access to the internationally renowned Ultra Music Festival Singapore 2017.

The results

As a result of the campaign, Mercedes-Benz met its ambition to appeal to a younger generation of Malaysian car buyers and revitalise the compact car segment for the brand. Approximately 83% of the new leads were converted to test drives, while 45% of Millennials registered intent to purchase a Mercedes-Benz. Also, 35% of GLA buyers are new to the Mercedes-Benz family. Additionally, the compact cars sold during the six-month campaign doubled that of the previous period.

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