Brand Culture: Brands need personality

by DK Badenhorst. Brand characters are not developed by committee; they aren’t even developed by one person — they are people. This idea came to life again two weekends ago when I saw the Amazon Echo commercial. It hasn’t been a well-received production…

Design Annotator: Meet the Design Indaba 2014 Emerging Creatives

by Uno de Waal (@Unodewaal) For our weekly wrap-up, we’ve collected: Mr Sakitumi and The Grrrl x Mercedes Benz; Bell’s Whisky ‘The Reader’ TVC from King James and Velocity Films; ‘Take Me Home’ print sale we’re having this First Thursday; ‘Broken Foot Drawings’ exhibition by Koos Groenwald on Instagram; meet the Design Indaba 2014 Emerging Creatives; wew work by graphic designer Thomas Pepler; Rebecca Haysom’s narrative pictures, wish-fulfillment and escape; photographer Ed Suter’s ‘Sharp Sharp Ghana’, and meet Knoffel, the saddest dog in the world, from a series of short films directed by Dave Meinert.

Ad of the Week with Oresti Patricios – you keep your eyes on the road

Mercedes Benz has developed yet another pioneering, high-tech innovation, aimed at improving road safety. Studies show that around one quarter of all serious motorway accidents are attributable to sleepy drivers in need of a rest, meaning that drowsiness causes more road accidents than drinking and driving.

This latest piece of computing wizardry works on several levels to analyse a driver’s behaviour in order to detect if they are getting sleepy at the wheel, and then sound an alarm that brings their attention back to reality.

Of course, just showing this technology would probably induce sleep in today’s low attention-span TV audience, so ad agency Net#work BBDO came up with an amusing take on two ‘Walter Mitty’ type characters. The first features a good looking executive type, who catches his own reflection in the mirror while driving. He’s clearly in love with himself, as each time he looks in the mirror, his gaze lingers a little longer.

The music, a Sinatra/Perry Como-style song (created for the ad by Pulse Music New York) that harks back to the sultry lounge-lizard era, is a ballad about “You’ve either got it or not,” – something that this driver seems to think is the case.

As his hand reaches up to run his fingers through his hair, and you’re about to snarl “Keep your eye on the road,” a loud beeping snaps him back to reality. It’s a reality that is a bit of a shock, because now we see that he is, in fact, balding, and maybe slightly older than the ‘mind’s eye’ picture that we previously had of him. The beeping sound was, of course, the Mercedes Benz Attention Assist technology, that picked up the fact that the driver wasn’t paying enough attention to the road, and quickly brought him back to reality.

The byline is: “‘When your mind wanders, ATTENTION ASSIST brings it back.”

Mercedes-Benz launches online lifestyle magazine

by Herman Manson (@marklives) Mercedes-Benz South Africa has launched a new online lifestyle content portal called mblife . It has appointed its existing content marketing agency, New Media, to manage the new digital initiative.

Adelle Horler, content director at New Media, says the new site is a departure from the norm for a South African motoring brand, and aims to reflect the lifestyle interests of current and future Merc fans rather than have a focus on motoring. New Media also produces a print title for Mercedes-Benz and a digimag.

The new website takes the digizine further along its evolution towards a daily updated online lifestyle magazine. It is part of a strategy to engage with a younger, edgy audience and take the brand beyond those already driving a Mercedes.

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