Ad Review: Mercedes ad masters medium

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"The medium is the message," Marshall McLuhan wrote.

What McLuhan was trying to say was ... actually, we're not exactly sure what he was trying to say. His writings were so theoretical and abstruse and, you know, Canadian. Nonetheless, whether or not it was what the philosopher had in mind, Daimler-Benz has turned the concept into reality. It's a spot for Mercedes C Class from Springer & Jacoby, Hamburg.

The ad begins with a screen full of "snow"-the electronic noise you see on a TV when the antenna or cable is disconnected. And it's whiteout conditions, for 10 seconds or so, until beneath the interference we see and hear something else. Eventually, a rumbling dark shadow coalesces on the screen in the form of a car-which, headlights on, is making its way through the blizzard. It's a Mercedes.

"For the next big snowfall," the onscreen type says. "Now with all-wheel drive 4Matic."

Now that's ingenious-using a quirk of the advertising medium to become part of the advertising itself. It's just irritating enough to get your attention, just clever enough to reward it. And far more memorable than any actual snow the agency could have contrived for the occasion.

Decent gas mileage, too-31, Highway and 23, Global Village.


Springer & Jacoby, Hamburg

Ad Review Rating: 3.5 stars

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