Mercedes-Benz is delving into its past for International Women's Day with a cinematic global spot that recreates a pioneering journey made by Bertha Benz, wife of founder Carl Benz.
The ad is based on an almost 100km journey made by Bertha Benz to her parents' home in Pforzheim with her two sons Eugen and Richard. It depicts Benz turning up in a small town with her sputtering car, spooking the residents, including one little girl who thinks a witch is coming. Bold and spirited, she seeks out the local pharmacist for some ligroin solvent, in the face of skeptical looks from all the local men--one who thinks she's hoping to get a stain out of her clothing.
It turns out she needed the ligroin to power her vehicle, which after some fits and starts, gets up and running. By the end of the spot, we see she's inspired the little girl for years to come--and the pharmacy she patronized became "the first ever gas station."
The spot was created by German agency Antoni Garage, and directed Sebastian Strasser via Anorak Film.
"It was important to my team to depict Bertha Benz as a strong woman and timeless role model" explains Bettina Fetzer, VP marketing at Mercedes-Benz Cars. "Bertha was a pioneer and our first test driver. Her courage and her will not to give up too easily inspire me very much. With our film we want to motivate people to go through life with a similarly positive, hands-on approach and to tackle challenges with confidence."
To mark the 170th anniversary of the birth of Bertha Benz on May 3, her life and work will also be celebrated by the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart with a live audio play titled "My Dream is Longer Than the Night."