NEXT A-CLASS

TitleNEXT A-CLASS
ClientMERCEDES-BENZ JAPAN
Product / ServiceA-CLASS
CategoryA01. Best Fictional Program, Series or Film where a client has successfully created a drama, comedy or miniseries around a product or brand
EntrantHAKUHODO Tokyo, JAPAN
Entrant Company HAKUHODO Tokyo, JAPAN
Contributing Company HAKUHODO Tokyo, JAPAN
Production Company AOI PRO. Tokyo, JAPAN
Production Company 2 PRODUCTION I.G. Tokyo, JAPAN

The Campaign

Young people today in Japan are surrounded by a vast amount of content and audiovisual experiences, including from smartphones, PCs, movies and games, 24 hours a day. We met the challenge of “seizing their hearts” for a few minutes by outrivaling other sources of entertainment that strongly appeal to them. Our bold strategy was to create content powerful enough for them to want to watch it, rather than devising a publicity mechanism or contrived setup.

Results

“Next A-Class” is a 6-minute brand movie produced by taking full advantage of animation techniques, an art form developed most notably in Japan. The movie was used widely in TV commercials, cinema ads, online banner ads and outdoor ads, with a central focus on the client’s Website. This brand movie is designed to connect the compact car model, which was not conventionally communicated by Mercedes Benz as its strength, to “young” people, leading to future sales for brand. Brand PR is meaningless if it’s merely for developing buzz. Young people today are surrounded by a huge amount of content and audiovisual experiences 24 hours a day. This project met the challenge of “seizing their hearts” for a few minutes by outrivaling other sources of entertainment that have strongly appeal to them. We believed that, if we succeeded, our brand content would spread on its own and we would achieve our Brand PR goal among young people.

We delivered a Mercedes brand experience to the target audience in the form of animation. Animation can be a strong weapon for portraying the future, or fancy by using imaginative images. Brand PR is meaningless if it merely generates buzz. The most important goal for us was to have the target audience experience the Mercedes brand’s value via another medium. Animation is also very much a part of Japanese culture and it appeals strongly to young Japanese.

・A month after its release, the film recorded over 3 million views from 175 countries around the world. This movie won a ton of favorable coverage in both the mass media and SNSs. ・The number of people who visited the A-Class Fair was up 74% from the year before; the number of first-time visitors was up 250%. The campaign gave momentum to the brand, resulting in an improved business performance of Mercedes-Benz Japan: ・2012 sales (number of vehicles sold) were up 26.2% from the previous year, a record growth rate in 20 years. More than 40000 vehicles were sold in 2012. ・Mercedes became the No. 1 premium import brand for the first time in four years. ・Most importantly, Mercedes received over 5000 orders for A-Class in the 2 months since its release, and the volume of orders rose about 800 % from the same period of the previous year.

Credits

Name Company Position
Daisuke Ryosho Hakuhodo Inc. Copywriter
Satoru Iki Hakuhodo Inc. Copywriter
Satoshi Ito Hakuhodo Inc. Planner
Koji Takahashi Hakuhodo Inc. Art Director
Taishiro Kato Hakuhodo Inc. Creative Director
Natsuo Sato Hakuhodo Inc. Exective Creative Director