Mercedes revs up short film to showcase ‘intelligent park pilot’

Dive Brief:

  • Mercedes-Benz this week introduced its second short film to showcase an automated parking feature that isn’t legal to use yet, per information shared with Marketing Dive. “Valet Guys” dramatizes how three parking valets escape the dreariness of their jobs by performing stunts in customers’ cars before the driver of an S-class model uses its intelligent park pilot to park on its own.
  • The film shows a disclaimer saying the self-parking function “can currently not be used” and explains its future use depends on national legislation and equipping parking garages with the required infrastructure. Automated valet parking (AVP) is a feature that Mercedes has tested for several years, including a pilot at Germany’s Stuttgart Airport announced in October.
  • Mercedes released the “Valet Guys” on its social channels worldwide to spotlight the safety features of the S-class, the first vehicle series to come with technology for AVP. The film follows last year’s release of a clip titled “Blowfish” that highlighted the first frontal airbag for rear passengers in the S-class, per its announcement.

Dive Insight:

Mercedes-Benz’s short film seeks to introduce a cutting-edge technology with a humorous and action-packed narrative that consumers can view on their preferred social platforms. “Valet Guys” depicts the antics of three valet drivers who take customer cars on joyrides, perform stunts and even get chased by police. The fun ends as a driver shows up with an S-class car whose AVP system spells the last of their daily escapades.

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Though the film shows a disclaimer indicating its intelligent park pilot requires legislative approval and AVP infrastructure to be usable down the road, Mercedes can still demonstrate that it’s at the forefront of autonomous driving technologies that have been forecast to gain greater adoption as they become less expensive. Mercedes has been working on the AVP technology for years, and last year started its pilot program at Stuttgart Airport in a collaboration with electronics maker Bosch and parking garage operator Apcoa.

Mercedes for the past several years has highlighted its technical innovations in a variety of digital ad campaigns. To promotes its EQC, the first fully electric SUV under Mercedes’ EQ electric car brand, the company collaborated with singer The Weeknd on an “Enjoy Electric” campaign. The effort included a new music track released on audio streaming platforms including Apple Music and Spotify. Before the pandemic led to restrictions on sports attendance, the luxury carmaker had created an interactive augmented reality and voice-driven experience at the U.S. Open, which included a virtual tennis lesson from brand ambassador Sloane Stephens. Mercedes also has developed video campaigns on Instagram’s IGTV for International Women’s Day and a virtual reality experience to showcase innovation.

This latest campaign comes as Mercedes’ parent company Daimler forecasts a rebound in sales after the pandemic led to lower demand and a shortage of key electronics components. Total unit sales of passenger cars and commercial vehicles last year fell 15%, leading to a 11% decline in revenue of 154.3 billion, according to its annual report. The company estimated group revenue and operating profit would rise more than 7.5% in 2021, CNBC reported.

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