Mercedes-Benz on the runway

Thoughts welcome on the LFW advertising offering from Mercedes-Benz:

I’ve been meaning to post this ad for a while but, if I’m honest I haven’t quite figured out if I think it is freshingly and strikingly simple, or just plain dull.

On first sight, it struck me as a very straightforward concept, that perfectly conveyed the brand partnership between the luxury car dealer and Fashion Week. The runway as a road, M-B as the only vehicle suitable to transport you down it – or, as a metaphor for life’s runway. Thus the glamorous audience feasting on the fashions falling off the runways of London Fashion Week are perfectly poised to see M-B as the only car to be seen dead in this season (or, hopefully a little longer, considering the investment).

I tore it from Stylist and it has sat on my desk ever since. And during that time, I’ve actually grown to be disappointed with it. The simplicity that had first so impressed me – the thought of how easy it would have been to construct and shoot – suddenly struck me as lacking the luxe I expect from an M-B ad. The lighting was so garish, the chairs so basic, the whole set so uninspired.

That infamous YSL quote of fashion fading and style remaining eternal is an interesting one to ponder in this creative context. I would punt that M-B would far rather associate themselves with style than fashion, but ordinarily their sponsorship of Fashion Weeks around the world does this well. But the ad creative above positions the Fashion Week runway at its most stark, most functional and lacking the lustre and style that we so hope to see from the M-B brand.

That said, maybe I’m reading far too much into it. Ads weren’t designed to be analysed, they were designed for instant impact; to convey a message in the time it takes for the eye to process a concept to the brain, and the brain to draw upon all its reserves of previous experience to interpret a message. My instinct liked it, my inner-annalyst did not.

I’d love to hear what you think.

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