Choose Your Own Adventure: The Commercial

To promote the new A-Class, Mercedes-Benz gave viewers of the show X-Factor a chance to drive their interactive TV ads with the hashtag, #YOUDRIVE. The 3-part series depicted a young musician being driven to a gig and at crucial parts in the story, viewers could take to Twitter to decide things like whether to hide or evade a car chase. The results then determined what video would be shown at the next commercial break. Now that the

David George, Mercedes-Benz’s UK marketing director said “The new A-Class represents a new younger, more dynamic Mercedes-Benz brand, which is reflected in this campaign. It’s a modern Mercedes-Benz that encourages people to do what we know they enjoy; to get involved. In doing so, we hope to really cut through, and create a positive, lasting impression on their view of the brand.” (more at PSFK)

Why I’m Curious

We’ve all talked a lot about the “second screen” and common it is for a viewer to be scrolling through Twitter while tuned into a show like “X-Factor.” But most campaigns that take advantage of this behavior allow for interaction on the computer or phone (through check-ins etc)- but it rarely ties back to the TV. #YOUDRIVE adds an element of surprise, an incentive to stay tuned, and hopefully as George mentioned a “lasting impression on [the] view of the brand.”

I’ve watched brand mentions naturally spike while a spot airs on TV or there is a mention in a movie – this is really great way to keep the interaction looped back to TV. While Mercedes-Benz only did the ad as a one-off, future executions during a big event like the Superbowl, or across weekly episodes of a show would be equally (if not more) interesting.

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