By on June 10, 2010

The Nikkei [sub] announces that Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz division is unleashing a global advertising campaign on the world, including a new advertising slogan and – while we are at it – a redesigned version of its three-pointed star. “Our claim has to reflect that we want to be the best in all disciplines,” said Mercedes-Benz sales chief Joachim Schmidt. And so their new global advertising slogan is …

“The best or nothing.”

Really. We are not making this up.

According to Schmidt, the campaign will be financed from Daimler’s existing marketing budget, which accounts for about 2 percent of the German automaker’s annual revenue, but declined to provide a specific figure. There will be a media split of 40 percent TV, 45 percent print, and 15 percent on-line.

I don’t know. Global campaigns rarely survive the test of times – local distributors, even company-owned sales organizations are quick to explain that there are massive cultural differences that necessitate a separate campaign. Like for Germany and Austria. Speaking of which …

And “The best or nothing?” Has a kind of, how shall we put it delicately, an early last century ring (1933-1945) to it. Like “Kanonen oder Butter” (cannons or butter), or “Du bist nichts, dein Volk ist alles” (you are nothing, the nation is everything.)

And lo and behold, we hear that “The best or nothing” is  exactly the same slogan as Gottfried Daimler used in the early 1900’s. It had been unearthed as a Daimler- internal slogan in February that now somehow escaped into the wild. A month ago, it was announced in Germany. Now it’s going global.

Too bad Leni Riefenstahl has left us. She’d make a great director for the ads.

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11 Comments on “Das Beste Oder Nichts: Drive A Daimler – Or Take A Hike...”

  • avatar

    Some will blindly accept the slogan, and buy-into it and the product.

    Others (knowing that nobody can be the best at everything, and that no OEM can afford to just ignore issues where it is competitive but not the best) will recognize it as advertising hyperbole and be turned-off by it.

    Only thing determining the success, and ultimate longevity, of the campaign is the ratio between the former and the latter.

  • avatar

    Hi, I’m Ricky Bobby. If you don’t chew Big Red, then f**k you.

  • avatar

    Most MB owners live that slogan –

    When they have their cars, they’re driving “The Best”.

    When it’s in the shop, “Nothing” (If they don’t get an MB loaner).

  • avatar

    I dunno, I kinda like it, even though it doesn’t make any sense.

    Then again, there are people who like the Juke, so that’s neither here nor there.

  • avatar

    I wonder if they will continue to use the guy with the insufferably condescending voice to repeat the new slogan for us. “Mercedes-Benz. The best or nothing. And if you do not understand this, then you just are not Mercedes-Benz material, now are you.”

  • avatar

    nothing is what is left in your pockets after you have done the
    “B service”

  • avatar

    The way you want to associate the slogan is your own. Others may think that Daimler is channeling Patrick Henry, for example.

  • avatar

    Good point, Pete. It’ll be filtered differently by different people with different backgrounds. I can see UAW contract negotiators complaining “Hey! They stole our negotiating slogan!”

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Maybe they should swap slogans with Chevy?

  • avatar
    Uncle Mellow

    Cut them some slack. There was a time when they probably were the best.

  • avatar

    personnally i always wanted the best or nothing – which is why i have gone without a lot – but i do appreciate the idea

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