Mercedes-Benz is a global automobile marque and a division of the German company Daimler AG. It has a strong global value known for its premium and luxury cars. It hold the status of a pioneer brand in advertising and marketing and has been successful in creating brand awareness through various interactive communications. Product is the strongest ‘P’ in the marketing mix of Mercedes-Benz. It has a wide range of passenger cars, light commercial and heavy equipment vehicles, however, its strongest product portfolio includes luxury sedans, SUVs and sports cars. It can thus be confident about its products owing to their opulent designs and supreme technology. Moreover, Mercedes never fails to emphasize on its product characteristics while promotion. “The Journey,” by Mercedes Benz is a heart-warming advertisement that was released in Germany in 2013. It tells the audience a story about Mercedes through a child’s perception highlighting its luxury and comfort. The advertisement appeals to our emotions and credibility creating a firm image for the audience, convincing them that Mercedes will provide them with, “The Best Or Nothing.”TARGET AUDIENCEThe main target audience of this advertisement are affluent families who value comfort and safety in their choice of vehicles. This is because these families most likely have children. We can conclude this from the fact that a child was chosen to be the main character who goes all the way out just to hitch a ride home in the policeman’s Mercedes patrol car. As Mercedes has always prioritised their other target audience groups like the business professionals/corporate personnel, with this advertisement, it highlights a significant change in the target audience. They aim to reach out to instead- affluent families with children, for a change.Furthermore, affluent families have higher spending power and would go for quality products even if it means shelling out huge amounts of money for it. Mercedes has always marketed themselves as a quality brand that prides itself on delivering excellence in the goods they come up with. However, because this advertisement was first released in Germany for its audience where the image of Mercedes is not considered as luxurious compared to if it were to be released in developing countries, the audience might be more receptive to the advertisement as it does not feature wealth and business professionals with the Mercedes vehicle. Instead, the angle was changed to be more relevant towards its intended audience when the advertisement featured a cozy home with a complete family and the main character who was a cute child. THE MESSAGEMercedes has always been perceived as a high-end luxury car for businessmen and professionals. This advertisement shows the rebirth of the brand as a family car. It offers comfort and a sense of security to the consumer. However, the car is used by a police officer which signifies power and prestige. He represents Mercedes in a way reflecting that even though he has a tough exterior, he understands the emotions of a child. Similarly, Mercedes is a not only a sign of power, prestige and money for businessmen and powerful people but it also is a symbol of comfort and safety for the family. It shows that Mercedes can also be associated with being very distinguished. The map in the child’s hand is a high context element that shows that Mercedes is guiding its consumers back to it. The advertisement also indistinctly shows its competitor, BMW, but the child is not distracted by it because he was focused solely on getting a ride in Mercedes. In this way, Mercedes puts their competitors down in a clever way. There is not much dialogue in the advertisement, for the advertisement speaks for itself. In the end, when the police officer says, “But this is gonna be the last time, right?”, it implies that the child is determined to come back over and over again. It reflects the message to the audience that once they ride in a Mercedes, they will want to experience its comfort endlessly. The whole scenario has been viewed from the child’s point of view disregarding the dangers of being alone at night. It has been presented in a very pure and innocent way. ADVERTISING OBJECTIVESPerception – Working to encourage more demand for the product, perception is a significant element in advertising. It creates an impression making the products appeal to their customers. Mercedes advertisement ‘The Journey’ has been successfully able to create attention, interest and recognition among its audience. Using the little boy as a means to show rebirth of the brand, the advertisement instantly catches attention with regards to what the motive of the little boy is and where is he headed. This attention then leads to growing interest in following the boy around town. Ultimately, when the boy sits comfortably in the Mercedes, the brand is recognised as a medium of luxury and convenience. The advertisement successfully creates an impression of Mercedes being an unbiased choice of an innocent child who finds his comfort in the car without any ulterior motives. Towards the end, the policeman tells the boy that this is the last time he will drop him back home generating a strong impression of endless opulence and tranquility.Affective – Affective element in an advertisement arouses emotions and create feelings in the audience. These emotions can pertain to fear, joy, aggression or sorrow that is triggered while watching the advertisement. Mercedes played smart by having a little boy be the highlight of the advertisement ‘The Journey.’ The boy sets out at night on an adventure only to enjoy the luxury of riding back home in a Mercedes. The boy can be associated with innocence and his intentions to explore around at night tend to evoke mixed feelings of fear and joy among the audience. On one hand, it may cause the audience to fear the little boy’s safety and on the other cause excitement as to what the boy is up to. The advertisement touches emotions in a way that most of the audience may go ‘aww’ by the end of this little journey. Little actions of the boy like preparing himself a midnight snack, carrying a map and buckling his teddy in the car creates a soft touch of affection and warmth among the audience. It leads to the conclusion that Mercedes is a car that satisfies the needs, not only of a well-established businessman but also of a small child. Transformation – Transformation is the dimension through which a product establishes brand identity. Mercedes has successfully established itself as a brand that has reincarnated as something more comfortable, extravagant and suitable for customers belonging to different age groups. Little symbolic elements have been cleverly used to appeal to the customers. With growing competition from several other affluent brands, the map can be seen as an object to navigate the audience to find its way back to Mercedes. The policeman, a figure of power and prestige, represents Mercedes as a renowned powerful car. Twice in the advertisement, BMW cars can be spotted vaguely. This emphasises on the fact that the child is not distracted by other lavish cars and only wants to ride in a Mercedes. Thus, Mercedes creates a strong and respectable brand identity.UNIQUE SELLING POINT”The Journey” is a clever and heartwarming advertisement from Mercedes Benz. It depicts the adventure of a little boy who woke up in the middle of the night all excited to sneak out from the house without his parents knowing, to walk through the streets, rode on the public bus hand in hand with his little map, with a smile to the police station, asking the police officer to help him because he is lost so that the officer would drive him back to his house with the new Mercedes-Benz vehicle. Thus, the story relays of Mercedes by using a little kid’s experience to show its attractiveness. Not only adults, but also children want to have a ride in a Mercedes.. However, in the ad, the little boy can easily overcome the fear of strolling out alone at midnight because he cannot resist the temptation of Mercedes. This shows Mercedes can attract all kinds of users, even kids. It highlights how easily the product can be used. It is simple to use and user-friendly. As seen in the advertisement, the police just turns on the engine and both of them wear the seat belt, then they start the journey. The advertisement shows that it is an enjoyable journey as the both of them are seen smiling when riding Mercedes and the kid bringing his teddy bear onto the car which shows that the kid is very comfortable in the Mercedes and consider it as sort of a home where he can be comfortable . This appeals to the customers because of Mercedes’s features; simple, use-friendly and relaxed, which is the USP and also, that Mercedes is “the global top of the mind premium automobile brand.”EXECUTION STRATEGYMercedes was effective in persuading customers in purchasing their product. In the advertisement, several scenarios and items can be highlighted by the viewers to form their own theories about it. In the beginning of the advertisement, we see the child’s room full of objects representing cars such as: his pillow, toy cars scattered on the floor and hanging toy cars on a mobile attached to the ceiling. This gives viewers the impression that the boy likes cars and might even hint that he has knowledge in cars based on his avid interest.Mercedes-Benz provide a profitable method of gaining a younger audience without losing brand prestige.The methodology can be applied to any luxury brand seeking to retain its cache and gain a younger audience. The challenge for luxury brands is how to appeal to a younger demographic without losing the prestige of the brand, risking the loss of its core customers. Digital and Social Media-Owned MediaThey also use digital media with extensive use of microsites for each product line. Social Media channels that include instagram and even twitter, are also used to increase awareness around campaigns such as the “#CLATakeTheWheel” campaign targeting the early 20’s to early 40’s demographic. #CLATakeTheWheel: Mercedes-Benz launched an Instagram campaign titled Take The Wheel, in which they cherry-picked five of Instagram’s best photographers and gave them 5 days behind the wheel of the new Mercedes CLA. In addition, anyone can enter to be the sixth and final photographer in the series and win a CLA.Why This Works: Mercedes has a nicely built Instagram following with 12 Millionfollowers, and this campaign helps them to expand their reach to the #CLATakeTheWheel photographers. It doesn’t look like they picked the photographers in haste, either; the two photographers that finished the challenge have amassed more than 570K likes on CLA photos, showing that Mercedes looked beyond follower count to find photographers whose audience matched their market. Any smart social media campaign should encourage followers to learn more info on a company site, and Mercedes created a landing page where there’s information on the car, campaign and more. Mercedes somehow matches up to their smart, forward-looking and meticulously crafted vehicles. Almost 72 percent of online adults use social networking sites. Not surprisingly, 18 to 29 year olds are the most likely users, but in a nice twist, those ages 65 and older have tripled their presence on social networking sites since the last five years. Understanding your market, buyer personas and their evolving needs is ever important, and Mercedes are finding unique ways to engage with their audience while also empowering them to share experiences.They constantly update their account with updated news about their car series and their newly launched cars. They also seek for response from their followers by using poll for a tally results.