Mercedes, Land Rover use updates from New York Auto Show for added interaction

Automakers are giving consumers brand-specific updates via live-streaming and news updates using social media outlets during the New York International Auto Show, a move that could help brands stand out in a competitive digital atmosphere.

Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover are promising to live-stream from the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York to keep their audiences up-to-date on auto show events, while Lexus and BMW are sharing updates with less frequency. These digital interactions with consumers could benefit luxury automakers by creating a conversation about new models and brand activities across all social media platforms.

“Social media allows auto enthusiasts and fans of Mercedes-Benz to be a part of events that they would not normally be able to attend,” said Mark Aikman, supervisor at Mercedes-Benz USA, Montvale, NJ.

“As the New York International Auto Show is a major event for Mercedes-Benz with important product launches to the United States and global markets, Mercedes-Benz wants to give its most passionate fans the opportunity to see senior management introduce our latest vehicles,” he said.

As-it-happens
German automaker Mercedes will make use of its Mercedes-Benz USA and Mercedes-Benz Global Facebook pages to live stream from the New York International Auto Show starting this morning.

The automaker created a separate page dedicated to a video steam that users can click on from the timeline menu at the top of the fan page.

Mercedes’ live stream page on Facebook

Mercedes will also present the live video stream from its main Web site at http://www.mercedes-benz.com.

The brand will focus its coverage on new models such as the SL65 AMG, GL and GLK plus and speeches from Mercedes executives, claims Mercedes.

The automaker spread this news to consumers via Facebook and Twitter earlier this week and last.

Meanwhile, British automaker Land Rover shared that it would live-tweet via its @LandRoverUSA handle from its Land Rover 25th Anniversary event April 3. It will also update consumers about happenings at the New York Auto Show via Facebook.

Land Rover’s Twitter page

The automaker also created a Facebook event that asks consumer to post pictures from the show to Land Rover’s Facebook wall.

In addition, Toyota Corp.’s Lexus has been creating hype for the unveiling of the 2013 ES at New York Auto Show with across its Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounts beginning March 29.

Lexus’ Google+ page

The automaker told consumers to “stay tuned for more,” which alludes to real-time updates from the brand on its social media accounts.

“New York International Auto Week is an increasingly important platform internationally to debut new models and is also increasingly becoming a focal point domestically for consumers looking to purchase in the near future,” said Michael Miraflor, associate director of integrated planning at Zenith Media, New York.

“Though open to the public, there is still cache in being able to attend the event to sample vehicles in real time and attend new product or model debuts and announcements,” he said. “It is only natural that brands turn to live steaming to maximize buzz and reach a qualified and interested luxury car consumer base.

“It is very similar to when high-fashion brands started to offer live streaming of runway shows, and we have all seen how that has rapidly evolved over the past few seasons.”

Social butterfly
German automaker BMW is taking a different approach to video streaming by offering brand-centric footage of the auto show on YouTube within 24 hours of being filmed, claims the brand.

The automaker is calling these videos “From the Floor” footage and promises interviews with BMW experts and looks at new models such as the BMW X1 and 6 Series Gran Coupe.

BMW is teasing its auto show coverage with a trailer on its YouTube page.

From the Floor trailer

BMW used its Facebook page to call on consumers to ask questions that can potentially be answered during From the Floor coverage.

The brand will also share video footage during the weeks following the event.

In addition, BMW is encouraging fans to use the #BMWNYIAS Twitter hashtag to converse about the brand during the week-long show.

Luxury automakers have been using creative paths to interact with consumers leading up to the New York Auto Show.

For example, BMW is using its social media outlets to encourage consumer participation in a contest that showcases the new 3 Series vehicle with a set of user-created YouTube videos that are 5.9 seconds in length, the same amount of time that it takes the car to go from 0-60 miles per hour (see story).

In addition, Land Rover created a Tumblr account that showcases its heritage through creative photography to flaunt the lifestyle behind the automaker in a social media setting (see story).

Also, German automaker Audi is out to market its R8 models with a second round of the “Want an R8” campaign, this time securing a 30-second television commercial spot and a Twitter contest (see story).

“The luxury auto landscape is as competitive now as it has ever been,” Mr. Miraflor said.

“Communicating how these brands are addressing consumer concerns for increased fuel efficiency, and continued industry investment in green automobiles, will mean that brands will seek efficient channels of communication, including live- streaming,” he said.

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