German automobile company, Mercedes-Benz launched a creative advertising campaign a week ago to promote their hydrogen-powered cars. The Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell vehicle can travel up to 250 miles and uses an electric engine equal to 134 horsepower. Fuel cell vehicles are zero emission vehicles that run on electricity from hydrogen and oxygen In the advertising campaign, the vehicle is covered in LEDs on the driver side and an SLR camera on the opposite side. The camera shoots video on the passenger side and the video is showed in real time on the driver side. The car is driven throughout Germany and it definitely caught some attention on the streets with people stopping and staring at the car. At the same time, the message, “Invisible to the environment. F-CELL with 0.0 emissions.” is also projected on the LED screen from time to time.
Check out the video here: Mercedes-Benz’s Invisible Car
On top of the most recent advertising campaign video, the car company had other campaigns to promote their hydrogen-fuelled cars. One of them was the F-Cell World Drive which started on January 29, 2011 in Stuggart, Germany. For 125 days, three Mercedes-Benz B-class fuel cell vehicles were driven all over the world from Canada to Australia, with the final stop being back in Stuggart, to promote the advantages of having a hydrogen-fuelled cell car. The people involved in this campaign kept a blog on Posterous to share their adventure and the stories of people they met along the way. They also had an interactive map of the tour that can be accessed on their Facebook account. Using social media tools to engage with its audience was a great way to promote Mercedes-Benz hydrogen-fuelled cars.
Despite all the advertising campaigns done by the company, consumer perception and adaptation have to be factored in. As mentioned in class, people do not perceive Mercedes-Benz as a sustainable company due to the amount of gas that its vehicles need. Also, the need to build hydrogen refueling station with the right equipment might be an obstacle in the future when hydrogen powered cars become more popular.