Recognising changes in consumer behaviour, Mercedes-Benz Vans UK (MBV) has responded by changing the way it does business and is shifting the brand positioning from a vehicle manufacturer to a provider of holistic transport solutions. As part of their ‘adVANce’ strategy, MBV trialled new routes to market in 2018 including online vehicle reservation and popup shops. In 2019 the brand continues to drive change and reach customers in new and exciting ways with the key business message: ‘Keeping Businesses Moving’
After 15 years of hosting Van Experience Live; the biggest annual UK Dealer and Customer event of its kind, MBV was keen to refresh the format and bring it in line with the new brand positioning. A driving experience would no longer be enough to showcase the sophisticated technological advancements in their vehicle range. Thinking about how best to communicate the future brand strategy to an increasingly time poor audience, MBV were seeking a more flexible approach; one which would take the event out on the road directly to their target audience and beyond.
– Electric vehicle range
– Mercedes PRO
– Vehicle solutions to improve efficiency
– Autonomous vehicles
– The future of transportation
Our strategy was to develop a self-contained experiential brand event to be rolled out across the UK reaching not only MBV direct customers but their customer’s customers. The Keeping Businesses Moving roadshow would target commercial fleet managers, small business owners, sole traders, drivers and entrepreneurs. Our aim was to immerse them into the world of the Mercedes-Benz Vans by taking the experience to them, rather than expecting them to come to the brand.
A 16m double-expanding articulated trailer was custom-built to house three multi-sensory experiences designed to communicate the brand strategy in a fun and engaging way. Leveraging the power of cutting-edge immersive technology, this stunning mobile venue invites visitors to explore the story of what Mercedes-Benz Vans does today, what’s coming tomorrow, and their vision for the future of transportation.
Inspired by the TV ad and shot using the same actors and locations, the story of today is played out in an emotive 360° video. Taking a seat on a motion-controlled platform, visitors enjoy a full Virtual Reality (VR) experience as they join a series of business customers in their Mercedes-Benz van to see how the brand keeps them moving, while they keep their customers moving, every single day.
An Augmented Reality (AR) wall brings to life the MBV of tomorrow. Equipped with a hand-held tablet device and headphones, visitors embark on a journey of discovery. AR portals and trigger points reveal the exciting new electrified range of vehicles and their integrated digital system, Mercedes PRO connect – two innovative technologies that ensure Mercedes-Benz vans get to their destinations faster, whilst supporting a greener and more efficient future.
A Mixed Reality (MR) experience using Magic Leap, one of the first to land in the UK, demonstrates the Mercedes-Benz Vans vision for the future of mobility. Visitors explore a futuristic augmented city-scape featuring robots, drones and autonomous vehicles in this truly unique experience.
The customer is at the forefront of MBV so a team of eight MBV brand ambassadors were trained in the technology and briefed to welcome up to 300 guests daily. A select audience of 400, including staff from Liverpool John Moore’s University Technology department, were invited to test the trailer ahead of the public live event schedule.
The immersive Keeping Businesses Moving roadshow sets the MBV brand apart from the competition, reinforcing its position as innovator. The simple sleek black trailer exterior was deliberately intriguing, and minimalist branding gave little or no indication to the high-tech interior. Once inside the trailer visitors were greeted by friendly Brand Ambassadors, then introduced to the brand story and immersive experiences with a welcome video. Atmospheric lighting and binaural sound effects complimented the on-screen and in-goggles content.
All technology on-board the trailer serves as an impressive sales toolkit. The immersive experiences are informative, educational and engaging – not to mention a lot of fun. Ambassadors are easily able to demonstrate complicated systems and software by allowing customers to explore the multi-layers of content. The gamification of the brand story means the trailer appeals to an audience outside of the Mercedes-Benz Van Dealer network and its traditional customer base. As a result, the schedule of events increased to include key summer festival sites including; The Royal Highland Show, the Great Yorkshire Show, as well as Car-Fest North and South.
Keeping Businesses Moving is a true reflection of Mercedes-Benz Vans pioneering spirit and the cutting-edge immersive technology used for this event puts the brand at the forefront of the automotive industry.
100% of guests recorded a positive feeling towards the brand
9.46 Visitor feedback score marking the event from 1 to 10 (1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest ranking)
“It’s essential the pioneering spirit of Mercedes-Benz continues through innovation. This trailer brings the brand to life with more passion and pride than ever.”
Steve Bridge, Managing Director at Mercedes-Benz Vans UK