Mercedes-Benz storybook app brings CLS model to life

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Once upon a time...
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Mercedes-Benz is taking its marketing strategy to new heights with a storybook iPad application.

The automaker teamed up on the application with best-selling author Joey Goebel to create the “Sensuality & Sense” story. The story advertises the 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS, a $78,400 car.

“Tablet devices, including iPad, allows users to take a deeper look into content than smartphone counterparts due to larger screens as well as the fact users are typically in a resting position when using a tablet,” said Ryan Peterson, director of marketing at Ubermind, Seattle. “Having an iPad application gives any luxury brand virtual ‘shelf space’ on the App Store — one of the largest, most prominent digital distribution platforms in the world.”

Ubermind did not develop the Mercedes-Benz application, which was created in house by Daimler AG. Mr. Peterson agreed to comment as a third-party industry expert.

Mercedes-Benz did not respond by press deadline.

The application is available for free in the Apple App Store.

Storied app
The Mercedes-Benz CLS iPad application begins with a full-screen video that tells users the basic premise of the storybook application.

Consumers can become part of the “Sensuality & Sense” story by becoming the main character.

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Application homepage

“The app promotes awareness of the new car to a tech-savvy, potentially young professional audience,” said Adam Levene, chief strategy officer of Grapple Mobile, London. “The interactive story brings the car to life, whilst features such as the image gallery and videos showcase the car in a more direct setting.”

Following the video, users are directed to the application homepage, which contains the “Read the story,” “To showroom” and “Recommend app” click-through tabs.

Users can create their own story including a custom-made main character.

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Customized main character

Consumers can design their character with the provided physical features and upload a portrait-style photo to create a customized effect.

“The app is unique in that it involves the user in the creation of the story, including the user’s image and personal information,” said John Eckman, senior director of commerce at Optaros, Boston. “It’s also truly original, creative content from a recognized author.

“Too many brands,including some luxury brands, fall back on simply reposting TV ads as content, or aggregating content from other sources, rather than commissioning truly original creative content,” he said.

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Inside the story

The multimedia story features animated illustrations, atmospheric sounds and interactive elements. It makes for a unique experience for consumers.

In addition, if users opt out of customizing the story to fit their own lives, there is the option to read Mr. Goebel’s version.

The showroom category of the application lets consumers learn what the Mercedes-Benz CLS has to offer, such as its design, comfort, agility and safety features.

Each of these features directs users to high-resolution, full-screen videos showcasing the CLS’ capabilities.

2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS

If users would like to know more about other Mercedes-Benz models, they have the option of clicking-through to the automaker’s Web site at http://www.mbusa.com.

The recommend tab of the application lets consumers share the Mercedes-Benz CLS application via Facebook, Twitter and email.

Touching presence
The application serves as a tool for the luxury automaker to inform, add value and entertain, all with the objective to sell.

Also, the click-through capabilities and the showroom option within the Mercedes-Benz CLS application provide an immersive experience that can lead to sales.

“The iPad is ideal for the CLS because it has the same combination of style and premium engineering that the CLS does,” Mr. Eckman said. “The iPad has also demonstrated a strong presence among Mercedes-Benz’s affluent buyers who not only are purchasing iPads but spending significant time interacting with them.

“The iPad’s multi-touch interface, form factor and scale lend themselves well to an immersive, emotional connection which matches well to the Joey Goebel story- line,” he said.

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