Behind the Scenes of “Fable”.

By now most people have seen or read about the ads that were featured on Super Bowl Sunday. While there wasn’t anything all that mind blowing, there were some spots that really entertained, one of them being the Mercedes-Benz Tortoise and Hare “Fable” commercial for the AMG GTS.

Both the commercial and the making of are below. It’s the making of/behind the scenes video that interests me. When I first saw the spot, I thought the entire piece was CG. I had no idea that there was any live footage blended in. Since all the animals are CG I simply figured the car and the environment were digitally created as well. I was wrong. When you watch the behind the scenes video, you see just how much actual footage was blended in with the digital components, and its really pretty impressive. Director Robert Stromberg and his crew did a masterful job of creating a visually stunning spot for Mercedes-Benz.

The Silver Arrows Project

“The Silver Arrows Project“, is a series of limited edition prints and other materials that recreate the legendary Grand Prix racing cars of Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union from the 1930’s.

In the making of video below you can see how this team of talented photographers, designers and illustrators blend original photography with 3D graphics, and Photoshop compositing techniques to get the final results. Each image is filled with impressive detail, and illustrative composition to help complete the story of these racing legends.

The Silver Arrows Project recreates the story of the Silver Arrows using moments from 12 different Grand Prix races. Each is available in several sizes, ranging from postcard-sized all the way to over nine feet wide.













You Owe Mercedes-Benz A Lot For That Beer You Are Drinking.

Update: Thanks Steve Savalle for commenting and setting the record straight on the story developers Fraser Davidson, and Tiny Toy Car. It’s great work from all of you.

 has uploaded a fun little spot for Tiny Toy Car outlining the history of the van, and how it all started as a rivallery between Daimler and Benz. Savalle came up with the basic story telling idea that was then fleshed out by Fraser Davidson, Steve Savalle, Mike Basilico, and Chris Naglik at Cub Studio, and Pluto. The clip takes a light hearted, fun approach to the history of the subject starting in the late 1800’s and rolling forward to today. I love how they tie it all to beer hauling horses, and a better solution to getting that beer across town. The spot takes a  stylistic approach to the animation  with a solid nod to a flatter design aesthetic yet still maintaining atmospheric depth and fresh look that really works. Since October is just a day away, and October means October Fest, next time you lift a beer give a toast to Daimler Benz.

Design: Fraser Davidson, Steve Savalle, Mike Basilico, and Chris Naglik
Animation: Steve Savalle, Mike Basilico, Fraser Davidson
Audio: Pluto

Gary Judah Returns to Goodwood to Celebrate Mercedes-Benz.

Last year Gary Judah created a pretty spectacular sculpture of flying Porsche’s for the Goodwood Festival of Speed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 911. This year he is back paying tribute to Mercedes and the 80th anniversary of the birth of the “Silver Arrows”. The new sculpture features the 1934 Mercedes-Benz W25 which won it’s first outing at the notorious Nürburgring Nordschleife, with Manfred von Brauchitsch in the pilots seat. The silver arrow is paired with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One F1 W04 which raced in 15 Grands Prix in 2013 by Lewis Hamilton. The sculpture arcs over the building structure at Goodwood suspending the race cars on contrails of whit metal.


Similar to last years work for the festival, yet different and unique in it’s own way, the sculpture is visually outstanding as it pays homage to the speed of racing and forms the arc over the finish line on the track. Just like the 911 work from last year, I hope this becomes a permanent fixture at Goodwood, or finds itself on display at the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart.


Not Everything Needs an App.

This is a great example of “Not everything needs a Smartphone app”. Mercedes has introduced “SL Bodywork – Your personalized Workout.” An iPhone and Android app that helps you work out while promoting the new body styling of the new Mercedes-Benz SL.

Hmmmmm. Really?

The application looks nice, and so does the car. The model in the the videos is attractive, but I just don’t get the point of this application. I keep looking at it and thinking to myself was this really a good use of marketing funds?

According to the copy on YouTube, you do get access to more content, the more you work out, and there are the typical hooks to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. The problem is, what does this application bring to the table, that other fitness applications don’t? What is the real compelling reason to use this application?

Aside from hardcore Mercedes fans, I don’t see much of real use for this app. It is simply a novelty marketing vehicle (pun intended) for Mercedes. This is the kind of thing that drives me nuts. Not everything needs to be a smartphone app. Not everything needs a Facebook, or Twitter presence. There is a certain “Grasping at straws” mentality that surrounds this kind of thing. I just keep thinking that this cost a lot of money to produce, and the ROI from the app is going to be minimal. Brands like Mercedes, or really any large brand, need to really think about this kind of thing before they produce it. Perhaps the money and effort would be better spent elsewhere.

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“The Scenic Route”. A Love Story for the Mercedes Benz Gullwing SLS AMG.

Usually when we think of car ads, especially ones produces for cars that price out in the $100,000 plus dollar range, we think big budgets and tons of effects. I think that is why I really like this spot for Mercedes Benz produced by creative agency PENCIL.

The Scenic Route, is a love story featuring the ultimate Mercedes supercar, the Gullwing SLS AMG.

After Jenny and Jack Dyson had an opportunity to take the car for a drive, they completely fell in love with it, and rather than produce a typical car ad, they decided give the AMG a personality, with an ability to bring the world to its hood and heart. The best part is they do it without ever starting the car.

The commercial is directed by Nick Jones, with cinematography is being handled by veteran automotive shooter Tim Green. The spot takes place with Emma Rios animated illustrations being moved behind the car, which create a narrative storyline and backdrop for the piece. This is such a fresh approach for a car commercial. Rather than a hard sell with the professional driver on a closed course, this spot takes a much more relaxed tone letting the beautiful design of the car work for itself. There is no need to put the car through a series of rubber burning, asphalt squealing, octane fueled hoops. Instead  PENCIL lets the beauty of the car in an imagined space do all the work.

Now, if you think this was a low budget, small crew project, wait until the end and count up the number of crew members needed to pull this off. I think you’ll be surprised.

The Mercedes-Benz Tweet Fleet. (my city needs this.)

Last evening when I was driving around Westport looking for a parking spot I wished I had some way of knowing where available spaces were. I had the same wish the day before on the Plaza which has turned into a giant valet parking zone. It seems Kansas City businesses like the idea of valet parking, and the city likes putting up tons of “No Parking” signs these days. If we only had the Mercedes-Benz Tweet Fleet in this town.

Mercedes cars equipped with a GPS unit, a modified Arduino board, wireless internet, and a camera are patrolling the streets of crowded German cities sending tweets about available parking spaces to smartphone owners everywhere. It’s a great idea. If we had it in my city I’d use it all the time.

By the way, I might have gotten my translation of the equipment wrong. I don’t speak German and I was using a speech to text translator on my phone to convert the dialog to English. German-speaking readers feel free to send me any corrections or additional info that I might have missed.