Archive for the ‘mercedes benz’ tag
In 2007, four out of eleven cars finished a 61 mile urban simulation course for the DARPA Urban Challenge obeying all traffic signals and lane markings without human intervention. In 2010, Google researchers announced that they had logged over 1,000 miles with no human intervention, and 140,000 miles with minimal intervention in a specially equipped Prius. Currently car manufacturers such as Lexus, Mercedes Benz, and Volvo are introducing self-driving features such as self-parking, radar enabled adaptive cruise control, and automatic collision avoidance. Read more » about Self Driving Cars, Neighborhood Electrics, and the Future of Auto-mobility
Being a backseat driver may no longer be a bad thing. Luxury car brand Daimler AG just invested an undisclosed amount in ride-sharing startup Carpooling. Although Carpooling declined to specify the amount of the investment, other sources indicate that it’s of the order of $10 million. The investment will be used to fund Carpooling’s launch into the North American market in Q4 this year.
But will car-loving Americans take to Carpooling? “Germans love their cars too. We are one of the biggest car manufacturers in the world,” said Carpooling CEO Marus Barnikel. ”We will initially focus on U.S. cities which have high mobility needs but poor public transport.” 78 percent of all car trips are currently taken by lone drivers.
German car manufacturer Daimler, not to be confused with storied British Daimler motor company, manufactures vehicles under brands like Mercedes-Benz and Smart and is the 13th largest car manufacturer and 2nd largest truck manufacturer in the world. Although a car manufacturer investing in a ride-sharing startup may seem akin to a turkey investing in Christmas, Daimler is also a market leader in short-term car rental. Its car2go service allows customers to rent a car by the minute and has over 130,000 customers. In my own city of Amsterdam, for example, car2go runs a fleet of entirely electric smart cars. Daimler also owns a stake in tax ordering app MyTaxi.
Carpooling currently offers ride sharing in more than 40 countries. Drivers rent out a seat in their cars for a specified journey using an online and mobile booking system. Passengers pay in advance using Paypal or credit card. A journey from Munich to Berlin, for example, averages 17 EUR ($20) on Carpooling while the cheapest train ticket on the same route costs 69 EUR ($83). The company takes a 5 to 10 percent commission on each shared ride.
Carpooling has expanded rapidly in the last few years with the advent of smart phones and increases in gas prices. In the last month the company moved 1 million people. It also claims credit for 10 weddings between carpoolers who met on a ride share. Passengers have varying priorities. “Many friendships, marriages and regular driver relationships have been established over 30 million rides, “Barnikel explains. “But we also have lots of people who pick a nice car model and sit in the back working on their laptop.”
Most Carpooling ride-shares are on middle to long distance trips taken for leisure, for example, travelling from Amsterdam to Paris for the weekend. Passengers tend to be more flexible on departure and arrival times in that scenario than on a work commute. However, in certain cities in Germany (Carpooling’s home market), France and Italy the service is achieving sufficient critical mass to start moving commuters to work every day.
A typical Carpooling customer is 24-36, single, professional, has a relatively high income and level of education and lives in an urban area. Carpooling’s biggest markets are the richest countries in Europe: Germany and France. Given that the main selling point of ride-sharing is savings I asked Barnikel why the service is so popular among those with higher incomes in richer countries. “Germany is also Europe’s biggest market for discount retail, ” he told me. “If you can save money, that’s attractive in most markets. The success of low cost airlines, for example, was not linked to any particular demographic.”
Carpooling integrates other modes of transport on its booking site in certain markets. Most of its users also take public transport or ride a bike at least once a week. “We are working on getting people door to door rather than train station to train station or airport to airport, ” Barnikel told me. In Germany, the company sells already more train tickets online than any other vendor.
Carpooling provides profiles of all drivers and a ratings system which helps to keep quality high. The most common problem before the introduction of the online booking system, which requires customers to pay in advance, was passengers not turning up. Sometimes hitches arise when drivers or passengers fail to fully read each other’s profiles so you end up, for example, with a smoker in the car of a non-smoker.
Perhaps surprisingly, given the potential safety concerns, the service is equally popular with men and women. 51 percent of registered users are female and although a women-only drive service is offered, it is rarely used according to Barnikel.
Carpooling will not be alone when it launches in the U.S. market. Rivals include Zimride, Ridejoy, Avego, Rideshare and eRideshare but Barnikel believes that Carpooling’s experience in developing its product over 10 years in so many different markets will stand it in good stead. In a world battling an economic recession and environmental disasters, maybe ride-sharing’s moment has arrived, even for the world’s biggest motorheads.
Carpooling was founded in 2001, is based in Würzburg, Germany and has 45 employees. The existing investors, the founders Berlin-based VC fund EarlyBird Ventures will retain a majority stake in the company.
Viral Friday is de wekelijkse rubriek op Marketingfacts in samenwerking met SocialMedia8, waarin de beste virals van de afgelopen week worden belicht. Met deze week campagnes van BMW, Mercedes-Benz & Nike+! Heb je een tip? Stuur ‘m op! Lees meer over: Week 26/2012 Viral Friday: BMW, Mercedes Benz & Nike+.
Vandaag lanceert Mecedes-Benz een nieuw online stijlplatform. Dit online platform, mb! by Mercedes-Benz, biedt niet alleen een podium voor internationaal nieuws over stijl en design, maar belicht ook talent…
Het aloude idee dat de auto-industrie vooral gebruik maakt van mooie vrouwen om hun producten aan de man te brengen, wordt hier door Mercedes-Benz gebruikt om een charmeoffensief in te zetten. Wat hard nodig is, natuurlijk, aangezien het hier om een Duits automerk gaat en we nog tegen Duitsland moeten voetballen binnenkort. Maak kennis met Die Frauschaft! Lees meer over: ReclameReview: Mercedes-Benz (Die Frauschaft).
A visual hammer is so effective because it says something about your brand. The “lime” that says Corona is the authentic Mexican beer. The “contour bottle” that says Coca-Cola is the original cola. The “cowboy” that says Marlboro is the masculine cigarette.
A company makes a major mistake when it develops a verbal strategy without considering what visual hammer might help hammer that idea into consumers' minds.
In the year 2010, General Motors spent $1.1 billion advertising its Chevrolet brand. The verbal strategy? "Chevrolet runs deep."
Most advertising slogans are abstractions impossible to visualize. To turn them into "nails," they need to be brought down to earth.
Years ago, BMW could have used "performance," a typical automotive theme, to position its brand. Instead, it called its brand, "The ultimate driving machine."
"Performance" can't be visualized, but "driving" can. So BMW ran television commercials with happy owners driving their BMWs over winding roads. A great hammer and a great marketing success. Today, BMW is the world's best-selling luxury vehicle brand, outselling Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Lexus.
Look at the problems Brand Atlanta has had in trying to create a memorable slogan for the city. Created by Mayor Shirley Franklin in 2005, Brand Atlanta has the task of trying to make the city more of a visitor and business destination. (Trying to do both was its first mistake.)
"Every day is an opening day" was the first slogan that quickly ran out of steam. My complaint, Where's the visual that could reinforce an opening day idea?
"City lights, Southern nights" fared no better. (It was another slogan that couldn't be visualized.) At the launch of this backup campaign, the executive director of Brand Atlanta said, "I went to New York last weekend and it wasn't because of I love New York." Maybe she should have paid attention to the best-known city slogan in the world.
It's the "heart" hammer that makes all the difference. Ironically, Atlanta also has two well-known verbal ideas that do suggest visual hammers.
Atlanta is a fast-growing community because it's the transportation hub of the Southeast and home of the world's largest airport. Locals often call their city "Hotlanta," a verbal idea that suggests many possible visual hammers.
The second idea has to do the environment. Compare Dallas, the city's only serious competitor in the South, with Atlanta. Compared to Atlanta, Dallas looks like a desert and Atlanta is loaded with trees. "City in a forest" is what people often say about Atlanta.
If there is one case history that demonstrates the power of a visual hammer, it can be found just 145 miles east of the city.
In the world of professional golf, there are four major championships: (1) The U.S. Open, (2) The British Open, (3) The PGA Championship and (4) The Masters.
The first three are hosted by major golf organizations, but the Masters is hosted by a private club, the Augusta National Golf Club. Guess which tournament draws the most attention? The Masters, of course.
VeryFunnyAds.com has posted a load of new ads recently, including one particularly fun commercial—Publicis Conseil's 2009 "Circle" spot for Renault Dacia. Shot and narrated in a humorous monotone, mirroring the boredom of always dreaming about and buying the next great car, the ad packs more storytelling into its 45 seconds than most 90-second spots manage. You might have to watch it a few times, but the message becomes clear. The Dacia might not be right for you right away, but eventually you'll come around. Check out that spot—and others from Mercedes-Benz, Burger King and more—over at VeryFunnyAds.com.
March saw five new brands enter the ranks, from the controversial non-profit Invisible Children to bigger brands like Rovio, Cartier, Mercedes-Benz, and US President, Barack Obama.
Powered by data from Visible Measures, this monthly chart looks at the most-watched brands in online video, across all of their campaigns. (Check out past charts for December, January, and February.) Here’s what we saw in detail for March.
In-car technology is making a major splash this year, with more car makers than ever before focusing widely on tech. One of the cutting-edge car companies in this bunch is Mercedes-Benz, which has its R&D sister company set up in Palo Alto to be around tech innovators.
Johann Jungwirth, President & CEO, Mercedes-Benz R&D, sat down to talk at VentureBeat’s Mobile Summit 2012 event today and present his ideas about what makes Mercedes’ Android-based AMG Performance Media system a standout among other car companies’ systems.
“A few things have changed recently within the company and the automotive community,” Jungwirth said. “We’re starting to offer customers to use their smartphones as the core solution. We have a 7 year development cycle for the car and now we can build on top of the 12-month-cycle of smartphones.”
On stage, Jungwirth stressed that the system, which gives users access to music apps, Google Maps, 3G connectivity, and more, has seen great support from Google and Android head Andy Rubin. He also said the Mercedes-Benz App Store will launch later this month to give drivers a better selection of applications and give developers another platform to get app exposure.
I had a chance to speak with Jungwirth, lovingly called “JJ” for short, on video to talk a little more about his company’s new car system. We’re standing in front of the new SLS AMG model, a stylish car with the AMG Performance Media system inside. Take a look:
Filed under: mobile
It’s been a day to talk about car advertising, so we may as well continue the theme with a post about these new spots for Mercedes-Benz from Merkley and Partners.
According to Below the Line News, “Art” is a historical tour through the SL-Class, showcasing the model’s many iterations against a backdrop of an ever-changing Los Angeles from the 1940s to present.
Looks like the agency also got away with a black-and-white, art film meets Mission Impossible treatment. Strangely, this content-like long form ad is the product features piece.