By on May 28, 2010

Speaking of car ads, never in my life would I have expected to see the grim reaper in a car ad. Especially not in the death seat. Especially not in a Mercedes ad. The boys from Sindelfingen never were known for their daredevil approach to advertising. Even at Volkswagen, which used to take more risk in their campaigns (<- they said this one wasn’t approved), any ad showing an old man with a scythe would have been immediately – - killed.

“Herr Schmitt! How often do we have to tell you: No negative advertising!!!!” It’s amazing that the Mercedes-Benz Brake Assistant System (BAS) ad [available after the jump] saw the light of day. Personally, I like it. Honestly, I’m envious of an agency that has gotten this ad through countless committees. Coming up with a good ad is easy. The hard part is having it approved.

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18 Comments on “Mercedes. Now With Grim Reaper In The Death Seat...”

  • avatar

    “Coming up with a good ad is easy. The hard part is having it approved.”

    How come so many bad ones get approved?

  • avatar

    As a wise old Advertising Manager at Volkswagen (who later became my partner) said: “It’s easy to say no. It’s risky to say yes.”

  • avatar

    I think this ad (which I do like) could be riskier than MB bargained for. In a litigation-drunk country such as the U.S., personal injury lawyers are going to see this as a promise from an auto maker that you will not die in its cars.

    I have to think some ambulance chaser out there is salivating at the chance to try this one out on a jury.

    • 0 avatar

      I suspect that, when run in public and especially in North America, it’ll include the boilerplate “Professional Driver, Closed Course, Do No Try This At Home, Do Not Taunt Happy Fun S-Class, Eck-cetra.” disclaimer

  • avatar

    Me likes :)

  • avatar

    I like how the scythe stays absolutely still in all the shots. Like it’s bolted to the seat or something like that.

  • avatar

    Sue over this add? We should have more car adds where lawyers die in them. That would sell the car.

  • avatar

    My favorite MB ad:


  • avatar

    Ooh, Death looks way too much like Ferdinand Piech.

    You think that was on purpose?

  • avatar

    I’ll bet the executives over at Chrysler can relate.

    • 0 avatar

      Don’t you think the “Chrysler” comments whenever “Daimler” is mentioned are getting a bit repetitive?

    • 0 avatar

      They’ll only get repetitive when the majority of people are really clued in to the damage that Daimler did to Chrysler.

    • 0 avatar

      Like the damage Daimler did to Chrylser in the 1980s?

      Lame argument. Maybe if Chrysler built good cars they would not be in the predicament they are now.

    • 0 avatar

      I think the world, definitely the readers of TTAC, have been sufficiently notified that Daimler sucked the blood out of Chrysler and threw them away like a vampire a drained virgin. Whether its true or not, point made.

      The matter has been overtaken by other events at the hands of Cerberus, the U.S. government, and Fiat.

      Also, don’t sweat little details. Daimler paid $36b for Chrysler. Then they paid Cerberus $650m to take Chrysler off Daimler’s hands. Daimler paid another $1.3b for getting rid of their remaining 19.9 percent. They paid enough for their alleged sins.

      In the meantime, stockholders lost their investment, bondholders were NSFWd, dealers were killed, and Fiat got Chrysler for free.

      Let it go.

  • avatar

    “Coming up with a good ad is easy. The hard part is having it approved.”

    That’s so true not just in advertising but also in design. It brings back so many memories, fortunately most of them positive.

  • avatar

    I love the Ingmar Bergman references. It’s no “De Duva,” but they only had 45 seconds.

    It’s too bad Volvo or Saab didn’t come up with it instead of Mercedes. You know what I mean?

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