"Wow … you drive electric?" a young fan asks The Weeknd as the musician charges his Mercedes-Benz EQC compact SUV in the opening scenes of a stylish new film from creative agency antoni garage and director Nicolás Méndez.
The clip introduces both the German automaker's first all-electric vehicle and The Weeknd's '80s-tinged dance track "Blinding Lights." For more than two minutes, we're treated to a time-tripping montage of classic cars recounting key moments in Mercedes history. These include Karl Benz's first drive in 1879, William Vanderbilt's 1902 land-speed record and Ernes Merck defeating male rivals on a gritty race course circa 1922.
Of course, The Weeknd himself zips around in that zero-emission EQC right here in climate-conscious 2019. And near the spot's finale, he responds to the kid's opening question in deliciously deadpan fashion: "What do you mean? I drive a Mercedes." (Ha! Rival EV makers can eat his platinum-selling, Grammy-winning dust!)
The film fuses two recent styles employed by antoni garage for Mercedes. We get beat-driven, quick-cut visuals and a playful vibe (much like "Forever Young," in which an office drone met his teenage self), combined with impressive historical reenactments (last seen in this International Women's Day spot about co-founder Bertha Benz).
All in all, it's a dope way place to the car in the brand's vaunted history, and "Blinding Light," which sounds both fresh and familiar, effectively seals the deal.
"We are addressing young and digital target groups to a greater extent—a perfect combination for this unique Mercedes moment on the road to an electric future," says Bettina Fetzer, vp of marketing at Mercedes-Benz Cars. The broader goal, she adds, is to channel the mojo of iconic Mercedes vehicles into the EQC, stressing its "pioneering spirit and sustainable, modern luxury."
Available next year, the car carries a starting price of $67,900, undercutting similar crossovers from Audi, Jaguar and Tesla.
Client: Mercedes-Benz AG
Head of Brand and Marketing Communication EQ & CASE: Tanja Roth
Team Lead Campaign Development: Tim Hudelmaier
Project Lead Campaign: Kevin Bakracevic, Julia Höfel, Matthias Sastedt
Agency: antoni garage
Executive Creative Director: Veit Moeller
Managing Director: Sven Dörrenbächer, Matthias Schmidt, Jörg Schultheis
Creative Director: Lucas Schneider / Malte Bülskämper
Art Director: Karin Reineke
Copywriter: Pam Boschma / Lars Baldermann / David Kauder
Client Service Director: Steffen Schumann
Account Director: Robin Weintraut
Account Management: Roy Schröder
Producer: Henning Rieseweber
Art Buying: Marjorie Jorrot
Creative Concept: Veit Moeller / Lucas Schneider / Malte Bülskämper / Karin Reineke
Production Company: Iconoclast Germany GmbH
Director of Photography: Niclas Johansson
Executive Producer: Jan Dressler
Producer: Nicolas Blankenhorn
Post-Producer: Jens Maier-Rothe
Editor: Nicolas Larrouquère, Andrej Gontcharov, Andrea Guggenberger
Audio Post: nhb Studios Berlin
Sound Designer/Mixer: Wenke Kleine-Benne
Music Company: Universal Music GmbH
Artist: The Weeknd
Post Production: nhb Studios Berlin
Post-Producer: Momo Jüsche (Video), Steffen Stark (Audio)
Postproduction Suprervisor: Nhat Quang Tran
Colourist: Company 3, New York / Sofie Borup
Photographer: Cédric Viollet
Retouching: recom GmbH & Co. KG