The 2015 Super Bowl kicks off on February 1 in the United States. For the occasion, advertisers compete in creativity and offer spots, each more inventive than the next. This is the case with the latest creation of the German car brand Mercedes-Benz.

"There is no point in running, you have to start on time"

Produced with the agency Merkley & Partners, the one-minute commercial entitled “Fable” revisits the famous fable “The hare and the tortoise”.

In a more contemporary context, the scenario remains the same; the hare and the tortoise face each other in a race of speed through the woods.

But this time, the hare does not wander off at the start, it starts off with a bang! No chance for the turtle to catch up with him… unless some outside help.

The turtle then discovers the manufacturing plant Mercedes-Benz.

She climbs aboard and drives the new AMG-GT (which will go on sale in April in the United States).
Like the fable we know, the turtle is catching up (because the hare, thinking itself out of reach, dragged on the road) and it finished the race in the lead.
This film produced in synthetic images, offers viewers a fun and modern version of Jean de la Fontaine's fable, which will conquer young and old!

2 answers


    Mercedes has embodied luxury German comfort and know-how for decades through vehicles whose performance, reliability and robustness have given it a very special brand image. The firm is indeed at the top of the world ranking in terms of brand image, just behind BMW.
    Only, in recent years and following the appearance of a new clientele, less classic and older, looking for a car as an extension of its personality (and certain flops such as the SLR and GLK models…); Mercedes has somewhat modified its positioning in order to meet this new demand for less conventional vehicles.
    The managing director thus decided to rejuvenate and modernize the image of the star brand through the implementation and adoption of a new product strategy and communication focused on performance, innovation and emotion.
    This advertising spot is not a classic Mercedes spot, usually built around the pleasure of driving a brand car, performance and premium.
    Mercedes adopts here a tone much more offbeat and closer to its target than usual by revisiting the fable of the hare and the tortoise. So admittedly we all knew this fable, but not from the point of view of the brand.
    The spot features different protagonists (all humanized animals) including the two main characters the hare (the anti-subject), sure of himself, sly and mocking, and the turtle (the subject), calm and serene, as well as “Their friends from the forest”, who came to support them and organize the race. From the start we realize that the story unfolds nowadays when the hare takes a “selfie”, before the start of the race, with his companions. Of course, at the start of the race, what had to happen happened and the turtle did not have time to make a yard that the hare was already out of reach. Only the latter does not take long to stop when he meets companions on his way, playing a game of cards when at the same time, an adjuvant in the person of a snail indicates to the turtle, not without humor to take the next left. It is there that the latter sees a dealership of the automobile brand and climbs aboard a vehicle (a Mercedes AMG GT = the object) after marveling in front of it and starts off on the hats of wheels. The situation is then reversed and it does not take long to catch up with the hare to finally overtake him at the end of a jump just before the finish line.
    Mercedes for this spot effectively revived a popular fable by relying on the turtle as an anti-hero in order to allow the public and future consumers to easily identify themselves. From a pathemic point of view, the firm first educates us by offering to identify ourselves with the figure of the turtle, then subtly makes us associate its ingenuity with the object (the car, allowing it to acquire the performance and skill necessary to win the race) to finally give in the emotion with the change of situation and the victory of the turtle.
    The brand also uses a sense of humor, particularly at the end of the spot when, when passing the turtle, the rabbit takes its head out of the car and says to the hare “Who is the turtle?” and that we see a hase in the passenger seat. The choice of the fable is not trivial and makes it possible to accentuate the fall of the story thanks to its moralizing aspect: the message is then obvious; ” be smart, choose Mercedes, it will make you realize ”. On the other hand, it also allows to pass a message having nothing innovative (social ascension, the achievement represented by the object but also the advantage given towards the female gente; the fact that the turtle is accompanied by a hase in the car is not trivial either) from a joking angle allowing the message to be easily conveyed, in a manner consistent with the new positioning of the brand. Because ansi est la vie: individuals position themselves in relation to each other, on the basis of their personality, knowledge and capital and the firm has understood this well and positions its product as the factor allowing the consumer to rise.

    → Work carried out within the framework of the course "Strategic Marketing and Semiotics" of M. d'Afflon, Master 1 Marketing Plurimedia and Consumption, CEPE Angoulême / IAE Poitiers.

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