Mercedes-Benz compact-car campaign: "Grow up." –stories of a new generation

Mercedes-Benz compact-car campaign: "Grow up." –stories of a new generation

Mar 6, 2017

Stuttgart. With "Grow up.", Mercedes-Benz is taking a new approach to marketing communications. The most extensive content creation in the history of the brand has been realised for the five models of the compact-car family. With more than 100 moving-image sequences and over 90 lifestyle and product images, stories of a new generation will be told until the end of this year. The campaign focuses on people caught between the coolness of adolescence and the squareness of adulthood who embody the attitude to life of the new compacts. One of the main characters is the US rapper A$AP Rocky. The campaign launches in early March 2017.

"'Grow up.' is much more than a major campaign about model series. It is a further move forward by the brand as a whole towards more modernity, progressivism and dynamism across the entire brand identity of Mercedes-Benz," says Dr. Jens Thiemer, Vice President Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars, outlining the goal of the campaign. "With 'Grow up.', we are reinterpreting traditional values and attitudes towards Mercedes while showcasing their modern-day interpretation and relevance within generations x and y. Realised in collaboration with our agency antoni, 'Grow up.' is an unconventional campaign, which, in terms of its consistent digital focus and the mechanics of its content, does not immediately come across as advertising."

Digital Hub as heart of the campaign

Under the campaign hub, the user explores the whole world of “Grow up.” The campaign stages and together personalizes the five models of the compact-car family in short films. They tell stories about young people and present-day adolescence with all the associated highs and lows. One film, for example, is about two female friends who, after an argument followed by months of silence, realise that true friendship is something precious that can also survive difficult times. Directed by the award-winning Swedish director Gustav Johansson, the films present images with a young, authentic look. With no artificial light or staged posing, the vehicles are included in the action in a way that seems natural. The campaign is therefore surprising and describes the world of Mercedes‑Benz designed to make a young, self-assured generation of "grown ups" enthusiastic about the brand.

The new faces of contemporary luxury

The attitude towards life of the new generation of young grown-ups is exemplified by the US rapper A$AP Rocky. The film about the CLA Coupé tells the previously untold story of how the musician and fashion icon rose from Harlem to the world stage.

Other characters in the films include the actress Lucy Walters, the actress and producer Julia Morrison, the actress and director Anna Zahn, as well as the actor John Rue of "House of Cards" fame. 25-year-old Frenchwoman Alice Moitié is responsible for the image motifs. With her predilection for a new style of vintage aesthetics, she fits with the message of the campaign.

Innovative campaign mechanics

Just as innovative as the content and its visual realisation are the mechanics of the campaign. All the content will be played on the relevant digital platforms for the target groups so as to generate traffic for the campaign hub. The films with a length of between three and five minutes and up to 50 short moving-image sequences, so-called "moments", and motifs ensure continuous visibility and attention. They intentionally play with contradictions and contrasts. For example, two young people kissing in a car are contrasted with the motto "Grow up. Start a family". And the image of a wild party carries the title "Grow up. Work hard". The campaign is extended in the digital world through media and content cooperation with the Vice content network, one of the most successful digital content networks in the areas of fashion, art, film, music and technology.

The campaign launches in early March with a TV ad that uses a trailer of the five stories to make people curious to learn more. On the internet, those who are interested can visit not just for in-depth product information, but also for flexible content additions from the individual markets. "Grow up." will follow the five new compact models until the end of this year.

The concept and design of the campaign are by Mercedes-Benz's European leading agency antoni in Berlin. The campaign was produced by the Berlin-based film producer Iconoclast. The digital campaign hub was assisted by Pixelpark AG.


Creative agency:                                 antoni GmbH

Chief Creative Officer, Founder:             André Kemper

Managing Partner, Founder:                  Dr. Tonio Kröger

Executive Creative Director:                  Matthias Schmidt, Martin Pross

Creative Director:                                 Veit Moeller

Art Director:                                         Sol Oh

Writer:                                                 Sebastian Lyman

Executive Producer:                              Mark Róta

Creative Director Digital:                       Thomas Heinz, Veit Moeller

Head of Digital Design:                         Nuno Marcelino

Production:                                         Iconoclast Germany GmbH

Managing Director:                               Nils Schwemer, Nicolas Lhermitte

Director:                                              Gustav Johansson

Executive Producer:                              Jan Dressler

Line Producer:                                      Tim Augustin, Björn Krüger

Director of Photography:                       Niklas Johansson

Music (stories):                                  Universal Music Publishing AB

Score Composer:                                 Petter Winnberg, Adam Hagstrand, Petter Tarland

Written by:                                         Petter Winnberg, Amanda Bergman

Artists:                                               Petter Sebastian feat. MishCatt,

                                                         Petter Sebastian feat. El Pero Del Mar,

                                                         Petter Sebastian feat. Amanda Bergman,

                                                         Petter Sebastian feat. Kleerup

Music (anthem):                                Universal Music Publishing AB

Song:                                                 Let me try

Production (Stills):                            Iconoclast Germany GmbH

Executive Producer:                             Jan Dressler, Felix Mondino

Photographer:                                     Alice Moitié

Online/Web Special:                         Pixelpark AG

Project Manager:                                 Maximilian Burkert


A-Class. Grow up. Spend time with family.

B-Class. Grow up. Be a good parent.

CLA Coupé. Grow up. Get a job.

CLA Shooting Brake. Grow up. Settle down.

GLA. Grow up. Start a family.

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