Hang around until the end of Merkley+Partners' new ad for Mercedes-Benz and you'll really see something.
That something would be the EQS, flagship of the automaker's all-electric EQ sub-brand. For the first 20 seconds of the :30 below, however, the car remains invisible, its passage suggested by puddle splashes on the road, wet tire tracks and leaves tossed up in its wake:
"We were essentially shooting a car spot without a car," recalls Vico Sharabani, founder and executive creative director at creative company The-Artery, which helped develop the spot. "The biggest challenge was making sure that the EQ's presence was clearly and artistically felt throughout the narrative with imagery that didn't leave an environmental footprint. Thankfully, my team's remote capabilities, resources and talent had the CGI pipeline in place for bringing to life this particular vision and message."
At the spot's conclusion, Jon Hamm drives home the carbon-neutral environmental message with the line, "Perhaps the greatest mark Mercedes-Benz can leave upon the world … is leaving no mark at all."
Whoa, he's invisible, too! Oh, that's right, it's just a voiceover.
The commercial breaks wide on TV later this week during coverage of The Masters golf tournament, which Mercedes has long sponsored. The EQS hits U.S. showrooms in the second half of 2021.
If you think you've seen Mercedes' vanishing act before, you're right. Feast your eyes on the carmaker's impressive 2012 effort at full transparency.
VP of Marketing: Drew Slaven
General Manager, Marketing Services: Mark Aikman
Department Manager, Marketing Communications: Ryan Johnson (no longer at MB)
Senior Campaign Specialist: Gloria Libby
Merkley + Partners
CEO/Partner: Alex Gellert
Exec. Creative Director / Partner: Andy Hirsch
Group Creative Director: Max Godsil
Creative Director: Gabi Hastings
Director Broadcast Production: Gary Grossman
Senior Producer: Chris Coccaro
Director of Business Affairs: Pam Carden
Chief Client Officer: Cynthia Davis
EVP / Group Account Director: Lisa Mannarelli-Puleo
Group Account Director: Beth Liss
Account Executive: Julia Breckwoldt
Production & Editorial
Director – Vico Sharbani
Executive Producer – Deborah Sullivan
Producer - Emily Branham
Editor – Michael Elliot
Color Grading & Visual Effects
Butter – N.Y.C.
Heard City N.Y.C. – Phillip Loeb & Eric Warzecha