Merkley+Partners launches cross-platform ‘I am Mercedes’ campaign
Where did the name ‘Mercedes’ come from? As it turns out, Mercedes, one of the world’s most iconic brands, was named after a girl.
By way of backstory: In 1902, Emil Jellinek – a visionary and entrepreneur, and considered by many to be the father of the modern luxury car – worked with Karl Benz to create an innovative, top-of-the-line race-ready motorized carriage, or “automobile.” He entered his 4-cylinder car into races under the pseudonym, ‘Mercedes’ after his daughter. Emil Jellinek won every race he entered. Soon, everyone wanted the car named Mercedes. Thus, the Mercedes brand name was born.
“From the very beginning, we were literally dedicated to the next generation,” said Monique Harrison, head of brand marketing at Mercedes-Benz USA. “It’s a part of our brand DNA.”
So, it all started with a girl named Mercedes. And now, the brand wants real-life girls named Mercedes to inspire us once again.
To celebrate International Day of the Girl, Mercedes-Benz will pass the mic to young dreamers and future world changers—all real-world girls, all named Mercedes. The girls and women, ages ranging from 7 to mid-twenties, introduce themselves, saying “I am Mercedes” and then talk about their ambitions for the future. The girls were chosen for their varied interests and accomplishments in STEM, Sports, Activism, Fashion, Gaming, Art, and Music. Each execution ends with the line, “Every Mercedes was born to chase dreams.”
The ‘I am Mercedes’ campaign was produced by Cutter Entertainment, a women-led production company and directed by award-winning photographer and director, Bethany Mollenkof, who told us, “Mercedes-Benz has long been an iconic brand, but I only recently learned the story behind the brand’s name. It was a joy to work with real-world girls named Mercedes and share their stories. I always feel honored to work on campaigns that center on women and girls and creating this piece with a women-led crew made the experience all that more remarkable.”
The cross-platform campaign from full-service agency Merkley+Partners, will appear on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook with a longer anthem housed on the Mercedes-Benz USA YouTube channel. In addition, Mercedes-Benz is partnering with Wonder Media Network, which will feature some of these young world-changers on their Womanica and The Accidental Activist podcasts. The campaign hashtag #IamMercedes will invite sharing and UGC.
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