Over the last few years global companies have been ploughing into the Chinese advertising market attempting to break through cultural barriers and bring ads that succeed in wooing the world’s second largest economy. Mercedez-Benz China have decided to bring in the big guns of hollywood smoothness with hiring George Clooney to star in their new E-Class Long Wheelbase commercial. This isn’t the first time that Mercedez have decided on using big name Western stars in their motorcar ads. Kobe Bryant of NBA fame, appeared in their “Big in the City” Smart Car Campaign in March. However unlike basketball which has a huge calling in China, does George have as much appeal here as expected?
Featuring the model Bonnie Chen it seems that Mercedez have attempt to combine two stars of sophistication to push this car to the wealthy Chinese market, however apart from creating a slight ambience of refinement and style the ad does little to bring about any additional excitement. Its a shame, when a new market holding great creative potential is seeing ads flow through that seem to think throwing popular stars into the sphere is enough for them to hook customers. Maybe it is, however does it legitimize ad companie getting involved in China s to do just the same? Unlike the Smart Car ad, which utilized Kobe in a humorous and interesting way the new E-Class ad just doesn’t cut the mustard. Advertising@chinasmack.com called the ad ‘slightly odd and not particularly exciting‘ and I wouldn’t argue with that. There is something slightly artificial, a ‘just out of the showroom’ feel that comes with this one. Boasting the tagline ‘Success is where you find it’, can Mercedez-Benz really find it on Chinese television?