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CLA Instagram Campaign


Mercedes-Benz is best known for high-end cars, but the brand needed to overcome an image created by its competitors as “old luxury”. With the release of their new lower priced CLA-Class, Mercedes targeted a younger Gen-Y audience that previously would not have considered the luxury car brand. Emerge Interactive collaborated with Razorfish (New York) in a global Instagram campaign to promote the new product class to active lifestyle consumers.

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Mercedes Benz Take the Wheel Teaser


The campaign challenged five of Instagram’s most successful photographers to take a brand-new CLA for a road trip across some of the most beautiful parts of the United States. Throughout the trip they were asked to post inspiring photos of the cities, landscapes, and people that they encountered. Instagram users voted for their favorite photographers by liking individual photos. The stakes were high, because the photographer who got the most likes got to keep the CLA. Emerge Interactive developed the campaign’s hub, integrating with multiple APIs to create a real-time dashboard of the contest’s progress, allowing visitors to view the photos taken, track the photographers’ locations, and stay on top of the voting results as they were compiled from various sources.

Take the Wheel is a natural fit for the CLA buyer who is a digital native, looking for their 15 megabytes of fame. What makes this unique is that, unlike most of the other Instagram initiatives, we’re not looking to push a marketing message out through the platform. Instead we’re utilizing Instagram in a more holistic way, as visual storytelling and interpreting the CLA.

Bernie Glaser VP of Marketing at Mercedes-Benz USA
Mercedes profile map
Mercedes influences displayed on smartphone


The campaign generated over half a million mentions on Facebook and Twitter, 87 million impressions and 2 million likes on Instagram. All this contributed to Mercedes’ busiest month ever on MBUSA.com and the CLA broke sales records when it was released in September, helping push Mercedes’ US sales past rival BMW to lead the luxury segment in the US for the first time since 1999.

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Cannes Shortlist: Branded Content + Entertainment

Effie Winner: Silver (Automotive)

Webby Finalist: Social Media, Photography

Smarties Campaign Winner: Marketing Strategy Gold

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