For the first time ever, you might not leave the sofa this weekend during the ad breaks on X-Factor.  Why? Because Mercedes Benz are a...


For the first time ever, you might not leave the sofa this weekend during the ad breaks on X-Factor. 

Why? Because Mercedes Benz are allowing you to control a story being played out in their TVC via your tweets. 

The video trailer can be seen here.

Here’s how the campaign is going to play out:

  • Saturday night, during the X-Factor ad break, a 60” spot will appear in the first ad break
  • We are introduced to a pop star who is trying to get a secret gig with the help of a female driver.  
  • At the end of the ad, our star will be faced with a dilemma, and our tweets will ‘drive’ the next part of the story.
  • During the next ad break, a 40 second ad will play out our preferred choice.
  • At the end of that ad break, we’ll be faced with another tricky situation to ‘drive’ forward.
  • On Sunday, during the results show, a 90” ad will recap the first two ‘episodes’ of the story and show us the finale as chosen by us. They will also be sharing dynamic data in the ad telling us the percentage of votes/ tweets they received for the winning storyline.
  • After the event, further 30” and 60” ads will encourage viewers to visit the #youdrive campaign site where the details of a secret gig will be hidden. Find them and you’ll be in with a chance of going, with your chances of winning substantially increased when you share via social.

I don’t know if anyone has given this style of activity a catchy name yet, but we love things like this is marketing, so I am going to call this a ‘So-Con’ ad (socially controlled).

I am very much looking forward to what kind of experience this delivers. The UK has more “dual screen” users than other European countries and I know that the reason I tweet & watch is because I’m sharing a group experience and sharing opinions and quips about what’s going on on the telly. I’ve never wanted to control what was happening on the tellybox by tweeting before, and certainly not for the benefit of a brand ad, but this is something new and so I will definitely do it and have a go.

The #youdrive campaign IS groundbreaking. It is exactly the sort of thing you’d expect a top agency to come up with for an innovative and premium brand like Merc, and I can’t fault it. And I am also anticipating many brands and clients across the country will be wanting their next TVC to be a so-con campaign. 

But how long will we be able to entertain and engage consumers and viewers with sol-col? Is so-con just a bit fandangled and new? If they had asked you to visit their website and vote for your favourite ending instead of tweeting, would you be as excited to participate? Time, I guess, will tell.

By Michaela MacIntyre (@mich_maci)

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