Serena serves Mercedes ad in Super Bowl
Mercedes-Benz, attempting to grab an edge in the race to topple Lexus, has enlisted tennis star Serena Williams, a rapper, a rocker and Twitter to add online buzz to its first appearance at the Super Bowl.
BMW and Audi will also air ads during the Feb. 6 broadcast of the NFL championship between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers, marking the first time all three German luxury brands are advertising at the biggest U.S. television event. At last year’s game, advertisers paid $3 million for a 30-second slot, according to the Nielsen Co.
The 2010 game, won by the New Orleans Saints, was watched by 106.5 million people, making it the most popular American TV program ever.
“This is us stepping up on the biggest stage and saying we belong there,” said Steve Cannon, vicepresident of marketing for Mercedes’ U.S. unit. “We’re getting bolder.”
Mercedes will push a younger, hipper image by focusing on sporty new models. The spot will feature a roadster version of the $185,750 SLS supercar, the new C-Class coupe as well as the revamped CLS luxury four-door coupe and SLK hardtop roadster, spokeswoman Donna Boland said.
Mercedes is also sponsoring a tweet race in which teams driving specially equipped vehicles need to generate traffic on Twitter to win a C-Class coupe. The four two-person teams will have to generate about 10 tweets per mile, or about 15,000 tweets, to reach Cowboys Stadium from respective starting points in Chicago, L.A., New York and Tampa. The teams also must complete tasks on the way.
The three-day race, which starts Feb. 2, features hip-hop artist Rev Run from the group Run-D.M.C., tennis ace Williams, rock musician Pete Wentz and New York Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher as coaches to drum up traffic.
The tweet race marks an “aggressive” play by Mercedes for consumers under 40, said Ian Beavis, a Los Angeles-based Nielsen consultant.
“We’re pushing perceptions of the brand,” Mercedes executive Cannon said. “We’re captivating the imagination of younger drivers.”