What We See: Inexplicably, this commercial uses a computer-generated re-enactment of Aesop’s “The Tortoise and the Hare” fable as the visual theme. What we see is, well, that, with a few shots of the estimablenew Mercedes-AMG GT S thrown in. The hare gets off to such a great start that he stops along the way to play cards with some other woodland creatures. Meanwhile, tortoise plods along, getting passed even by Mr. Snail, until he sees the AMG factory and wanders in. There, he spies a new Mercedes-AMG GT S, which he promptly steals and shoots off for the finish line, having first stopped to pick up a foxy little wabbit of his own. Hare tries to catch up, but to no avail. In fact, it looks like tortoise might have run him over a little bit, but maybe he just got caught in the draft. Either way, tortoise skids to a stop ahead of hare (although a replay shows he never actually crosses the checkered finish line) as Mad Men’s Jon Hamm declares that the new car’s “hare-raising power and performance is no fairy tale.”
What We Think: There might be a worse way to introduce the gorgeous new AMG GT S, but offhand, I can’t imagine what that would be. The Aesop fable, though well-known, is completely irrelevant. Who is the hare supposed to represent? All other competitive high-horsepower cars? Other, more powerful AMG offerings? A292-hp Volkswagen Golf R? And why use animated animals that look as if they were recruited from a kid’s bedtime story? Just to set up the pathetic last line? On the plus side, the live action shots do show that the car itself looks (and sounds) pretty damned cool. So why would Mercedes want to trade very expensive Super Bowl product-viewing seconds for a fake possum that says “Wow?” I realize that the commercial is part of a larger social-media initiative that includes a sweepstakes and other incentives to “join the conversation,” but certainly a creative theme that’s more relevant to serious AMG buyers could have been used instead. This is a case of the social-media tail wagging the advertising rabbit.
Rating: One out of five
The original post appeared on Car & Driver.