- Mercedes-Benz USA will promote its line of electric vehicles via a 20-city test drive tour and several experiential activations, according to a press release. The first vehicle from the line, the 2022 EQS Sedan, is scheduled to hit the U.S. market later this fall.
- The Mercedes-EQ Experience will be open today (Oct. 11) through Dec. 1 in the Meatpacking District in New York. The immersive experiences available to consumers include an energy harvesting pathway, a museum-like space and an "energizer-comfort zone" where consumers can enjoy sound and ambient lighting. An additional center will open in Santa Monica, California, from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15, with another opening in early 2022.
- The experiential activations seek to demonstrate Mercedes-Benz' commitment to sustainability and the luxury for which the brand is known. The local test drive tour kicked off in Orange County, California and Las Vegas on Oct. 6 and will continue around the U.S. into March 2022.
Along with local test drives that are standard-issue for marketing and selling cars, Mercedes-Benz is embracing experiential tactics to engage with consumers across a wider range of issues. The carmaker is the latest to return to experiential marketing — which was popular with marketers before the pandemic scuttled most in-person activities — despite continued challenges caused by the coronavirus.
The Mercedes-EQ Experiences in New York and California seek to educate consumers about its new electric vehicles and the company's overall commitment to sustainability — an increasing priority for consumers, especially for many who are choosing more environmentally friendly electric or hybrid vehicles. To this end, an energy harvesting pathway, created with Pavegen, will let consumers generate small amounts of clean electricity using kinetic floor tiles. In addition, the brand will share a timeline of its plan to be carbon neutral by 2039.
Mercedes will also showcase its EQ line through a museum-like space, vehicle displays and an interactive map showing charging stations across the country. The carmaker teamed with acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton on a comfort zone that gives consumers access to different sounds and ambient lighting.
The carmaker will introduce the EQS 450+ and EQS 580 4MATIC models in the U.S. later this fall. However, the rollout comes as many industries, including automotive, continue to feel the effects of a global chip shortage that has been accelerated by the pandemic and the move to electric vehicles. Supply chain issues could make it difficult to deliver on demand for the new vehicles, despite the test drives and experiential activations.
As it continues to market its vehicles despite a still unsettled global landscape, Mercedes-Benz last month announced plans to consolidate global media, brand and performance marketing activities under a "tailor-made" agency solution from Omnicom Group. Expected to launch in January 2022, Team X will handle "performance content development, media playout and success measurement" at all points along the customer journey.