The power of real people helps re-build the Mercedes-Benz brand.

The power of “real” people in marketing is certainly not new. The latest iteration of  the idea is peer-to-peer marketing in social media. The underlying notion is simple, whether it is social media or a traditional “testimonial” commercial, consumers are more likely to trust the opinion or experience of people that they perceive to be like them…real and therefore trustworthy.

Mercedes-Benz has been in the process of re-building their brand’s core values (see earlier post) and recently has been focusing on safety. Mercedes-Benz’ use of real people to make their case for safety results in a very compelling campaign. Here’s a recent television commercial:

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” The accidents changed their lives, the films could change yours.” While the television commercial is nice, the real power comes if you visit the website.  There you can select from a whole range of films and hear each person’s or family’s story. Here are a couple of examples:

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What joins these stories and people together is that each experienced a horrific automobile accident and believe that they would have died or been terribly injured if they had been in anything other than a Mercedes-Benz. Frankly, that’s no real surprise, as a viewer you know where the films are going, but what’s engaging are the details and the people themselves telling their story.  Ordinary people whom are sharing an experience that could happen to any of us.  The emotion is real and the stories are often riveting.

What’s artful is the way that Mercedes-Benz lets the videos tell the story of the people and they use the post video “learn more about this story” link to provide more information about the accident, the car, the technology and the engineering that enabled the happy outcome, without “selling” anything.

All in all, beautifully done. Makes both the emotional and rational case for Mercedes-Benz as the safest and best engineered vehicles without ever claiming it.

Professionally, I know there are other equally safe vehicles available, but I must admit that the stories of these real people have me thinking that perhaps my family has an edge, if the unthinkable happens, and they happen to be in a Mercedes-Benz.

Well done.

More at:  http://www.mbusa.com/impact

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