Storyboard18 - Mercedes-Benz India targets young performance car lovers in first Instagram campaign

The campaign is targeted at young customers who want to own a performance car but at the same time use it for functional purposes, says the sales and marketing VP, Santosh Iyer, in an exclusive interaction

Published: Feb 21, 2022 11:30:58 AM IST
Updated: Feb 21, 2022 03:11:03 PM IST

Storyboard18 - Mercedes-Benz India targets young performance car lovers in first Instagram campaignMercedes-Benz' choice to execute an Instagram-heavy campaign comes from the fact that their target group is mostly present across social media platforms and 90 percent of their traffic comes from mobile phones

What’s common between cities such as Kolkata, Jaipur, Indore, Surat and Mercedes-Benz India? These cities are emerging as big markets for the luxury automobile company’s performance car range – Mercedes-AMG. With positive changes in the infrastructure development across the country, intracity travel increasing and multiple race tracks coming up, Mercedes-Benz plans to accelerate its performance car range.

The company has launched a new marketing campaign only for Instagram, leveraging AMG customers’ content-consumption pattern. The campaign video has been ideated and conceptualised by British photographer and filmmaker Rankin’s agency, Rankin Agency London.

Performance cars, as a category, did not exist in the country till 2013-2014 when Mercedes launched its global brand AMG in India launching a range of performance cars. The company also set up AMG Performance centres in different parts of the country, which has propelled the category with a 100 percent growth rate recorded last year that is much faster than the market.

In an exclusive interaction with Storyboard18, Santosh Iyer, vice-president, sales and marketing, Mercedes- Benz India, shares that there is a big performance car enthusiast community that wants to drive these cars and use it for their daily commute.

“With the initial success, we thought it is the right time to tease the market and add the additional customers. The ‘Are you AMG ready?,’ campaign is targeted at young customers who have the desire of owning performance cars but at the same time use it for functional purposes. This customer is young and does not have the wherewithal to own two kinds of cars,” Iyer says.

Performance car TG 

Iyer says that they have two sets of customers. The first one is in the age group of 35 to 40 years who primarily hail from metros. The second set also belongs to the same age group but hails from cities such as Jaipur and Coimbatore, a trend that the company has seen in the past year.  

“Many of them are startup founders and entrepreneurs and they wish to enjoy life at a much earlier age. So, they are splurging and buying performance cars which are also being localised now,” he notes.

Mercedes-Benz' choice to execute an Instagram-heavy campaign comes from the fact that their target group is mostly present across social media platforms and 90 percent of their traffic comes from mobile phones.

“Not only does it allow us to interact with the customers but we can also direct them to our own platforms and do more analytics with it. We will be using two sets of influencers – first, our own customers who already own an AMG along with social media influencers across various categories,” Iyer adds.

The company’s AMG experience centres will be conducting AMG Emotions tours for all customers and intending buyers by taking them to driving destinations across different parts of India.

Catch them young

The experience tours also include Gen Z customers aged 19 to 20 years.  

While they might not be the immediate buyers of the performance car range, Mercedes-Benz’ strategy is to target them as potential buyers early on.

“The plan is to target them at an early stage, engage with them because at this point in time, they may not be ready to own the car right now but by the time they turn 25 they begin to start driving these cars,” Iyer says.

Communications strategy consultant, Karthik Srinivasan, points out that Instagram's supposed audience age range is 18 to24, though a fair amount of users younger than 18 also use it.

“Mercedes' idea is perhaps to be in the line-of-sight of this age group, though, from an affordability point of view parsed with this age group's assumed income range, it beats logic given the cheapest available product (A200d sedan) is about Rs 40 Lakhs,” he notes.
Srinivasan notes that if the intent is to seed the interest in Mercedes vehicles early in their career (something that Harley-Davidson uses as a strategy) so that when they can afford costlier vehicles, they pick a Mercedes, it makes sense.

“But a mere Instagram-now effort may not lead to such seeding of interest; that would need more types of communication,” he concludes.

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