Two of my favorite ads from the past month came from car brands touting their new sustainability efforts. While Volvo and Mercedes-Benz approached their ads differently, both displayed powerful storytelling that linked the brand histories to more sustainable visions for the future.
Here is the ad from Mercedes-Benz:
Set to a haunting, minor-key rendition of The Beatles’ “Come Together,” the dialogue-free, cinematic video depicts an eerie, windy landscape and ends with a wind turbine transforming into the Mercedes-Benz logo as text reads, “After years of fighting the wind, we’re joining forces. By 2022, our own Mercedes-Benz factories worldwide will obtain electricity from only renewable sources.”
I love how Mercedes-Benz distilled the story it was trying to tell into a single visual that adds new meaning to its iconic logo. Interestingly, the head of global campaigns and product content at Mercedes-Benz said that up until recently, the brand had a rule to never play with its logo but now sees it as a storytelling asset as part of a broader push to be seen as playful and entertaining. Thinking back to our class discussions about omni-channel storytelling, I think this “logo-turned-wind turbine” is a great building block for a multimedia campaign because its meaning can translate across mediums, from billboards to Instagram posts to banner ads.
Next, here’s the Volvo ad:
This ad works because it ties one of the core brand tenets (safety) to the threat of climate change. As with the Mercedes ad, it leverages text to deliver a powerful closing message. Also, like the Mercedes-Benz one, the stark visual lends itself to a multimedia campaign and will run online, in print, on radio and outside.
AdAge (4.7.21): Volvo’s ‘Ultimate’ Safety Test Goes Way Beyond Collisions and Crash-Test Dummies
AdWeek (4.6.21): Volvo’s Ad About the “Ultimate Safety Test” Has a Dramatic Twist and a Vital Message
AdAge (3.26.21): A Wind Turbine Becomes the Mercedes Logo in the Brand’s Cinematic Sustainability Spot