Envision a universe with you at the centre, calling the shots. What would you do if the whole world followed your every command?
That’s not Big Game fiction, that’s exactly how it feels inside the brand-new A-Class – the high-tech, gateway sedan for the Mercedes-Benz model line with a Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price of $32,500 (R430, 764.75) – making its official introduction during the Big Game at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday, February 3.
The new model features an industry-leading, in-vehicle command centre, Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX), pairing natural voice recognition with voice-activated artificial intelligence (AI) technology to seamlessly integrate with today’s multitasking lifestyle. Chilly? Say, “I’m cold.” Mood lighting? Best brunch around? Playlist or podcast? Last night’s football scores? Just say “Hey Mercedes…,” and the vehicle does the rest, along with the lines of in-home virtual assistants.
The comedic, star-studded 60-second commercial, “Say the Word,” which will air during the second quarter of the game, features an A-Class owner making his way through his city – exercising omnipotence over everyday dilemmas, sports outcomes ATMs and the fate of iconic pop culture characters – as well as transforming a lofty, operatic crescendo into a rap concert.
The madcap ad features Atlanta-based, award-winning, “Dirty South” rapper/actor Ludacris, PGA champion Rickie Fowler, iconic Looney Tunes characters, film and television legend Lassie© and several more surprises.*
“Put simply, we are changing the way drivers interact with their cars, and we’re starting with our all-new entry-level model. MBUX is a game-changer and we think that once aware of the A-Class price point and technology, a lot of people who hadn’t considered Mercedes or thought owning one was still several years away will want to take a look. And, given that we have some of the highest owner loyalty in the industry, once these new buyers join the brand, they’re likely to stay for quite some time – that’s why we’re debuting it on one of the biggest stages in the world, ” said Drew Slaven, vice president of marketing for MBUSA.
The A-Class, a stylish five-passenger sedan, will soon arrive at Mercedes-Benz dealerships across the country. Its breakthrough MBUX interface consists of: AI to learn driver preferences and provide customized suggestions based on them, as well as to grasp language and intent to divine answers to spoken queries; augmented reality to superimpose navigation data onto a wide-angle image of the road ahead; and natural language recognition that allows users to speak informally instead of memorizing a roster of commands.
“Say the Word” was created by Merkley+Partners (New York), MBUSA’s lead marketing agency and directed by DGA award-winning Noam Murro, with visual effects by Blacksmith, and cartoon animation by ATK PLN. It is part of a fully integrated marketing initiative which also includes digital campaigns, social media, print and radio executions, collateral, local event activations and community elements. An additional TV spot will debut closer to launch. “Say the Word” can be viewed here with images available to accredited journalists on the MBUSA media website.