April 15, 2013
German automaker Mercedes-Benz created a new mobile-optimized Web site to provide on-the-go consumers with branded content and media.
After overhauling its Web strategy in 2012 to offer a magazine-style site, Mercedes is optimizing the platform for smartphone users. Luxury marketers are now more than ever looking to make their Web sites and multichannel campaigns accessible on mobile so that consumers have a seamless brand experience.
“Offering Mercedes-Benz.com for tablet PCs and smart phones is a key marketing channel to reach more interested people and new targets groups,” said Ina Schultz, spokesperson for lifestyle and brand communications at Mercedes-Benz, Stuttgart, Germany.
Mercedes’ new mobile site presents smartphone users with the latest brand content through a slideshow on the homepage. Consumers can swipe their finger across the screen to browse seven pieces of content.
Below are additional slides that promote more articles and video content.
The sections of the mobile site mirror those found on Mercedes’ desktop site: Vehicles, Innovation, Design, History, Sports, Fashion, Zeitgeist and TV.
Consumers can navigate to each section from a drop-down menu or by browsing the entire set of content of the homepage.
The Zeitgeist section contains articles on Mercedes’ cultural programs such as its music and content collaborations. One recent story in collaboration with Freunde von Freunden magazine gives streetwear boutique owner Chris Gibbs’ take on the best spots in Los Angeles.
In contrast, the Vehicles section showcases each model that Mercedes offers through readings, images and video.
Throughout this section Mercedes links consumers to its country-specific sites, which are optimized for mobile as well.
At the bottom of the mobile site, consumers can access Mercedes’ social channels and toggle the language between German and English. They can also find the nearest dealership.
Mercedes aims to provide a corporate site experience that will differentiate the brand and help it gain emotional connections with consumers.
“The focus of the Web site is on its character as a magazine,” Ms. Schultz said. “The goal was to place a premium on an emotionally-appealing presentation of contents, which are furthermore continuously updated.
“With this, Mercedes-Benz transcends, by far, conventional international corporate Web sites, offering visitors unique possibilities to experience the brand in digital form,” she said.
Other luxury automakers have optimized the brand experience for mobile.
For example, Italian automaker Ferrari is immersing consumers in the brand through an all-encompassing iPhone and iPad application that takes advantage of the capabilities of a mobile device such as the camera, wallpaper and augmented reality.
The Ferrari Mania app includes a themed camera tool, custom alarm sounds, brand wallpapers, augmented reality, a speed simulator, videos, a dealer locator and the Ferrari store (see story).
In addition, German automaker BMW raised the bar for mobile advertising among luxury marketers with its campaign that comprised video content and Google Maps integration to push the i concept vehicles.
The automaker’s mobile placements showed the various i concept vehicles driving along the ad space and a Google Map of the area that the mobile user was in. A click-through led to a Web site where users could take a virtual test drive around their city and learn more (see story).
Though Mercedes first developed its content-driven site for desktop, it soon realized that its consumers wanted a corresponding mobile experience.
“The user-friendly premium magazine offers editorially prepared contents and aesthetic images,” Ms. Schultz said. “It thus enables surprising insights into the many facets of the world of Mercedes-Benz.
“As digital is the heart of the brand, this Web site is also optimized for tablet PCs and, since this year, also for smartphones,” she said.
Tricia Carr, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York