Daily Insights

Mercedes-Benz Goes Virtual at the US Open

By: Grace Bentley | Sep 03, 2019

Mercedes-Benz recently announced its new augmented reality (AR) technology that will be available August 21st to September 8th at the US Open. The system will feature Sloane Stephens, a Mercedes-Benz Ambassador and the 2017 US Open Champion, as her AR counterpart takes users through a live tennis lesson.

To activate the program, a user simply says, “Hey Mercedes, teach me to play like Sloane”. The participant uses a racquet to serve and swing like they would in a tennis game and Sloane and the AR program provide feedback on their performance.

To garner buzz around the announcement, Mercedes-Benz posted two videos on social media. The first video, posted to its Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, saw more than 3,000 interactions on Instagram, far less than the nearly 14,000 interactions the average Mercedes-Benz Instagram post generates. The brand posts on Instagram more frequently than any other brand in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Auto, but was in the middle of the pack in terms of interactions. 

Its newest campaign video features Sloane as she uses the system and gives viewers the opportunity to see how the AR functions. An additional video was posted to Facebook and Twitter that showed a side-by-side comparison of Sloan and her AR image serving to show how accurate the AR image is to real life. 

While Mercedes-Benz has a site dedicated to its partnership with the US Open, the site is not updated with the AR experience or Sloane Stephens, instead highlighting its partnership with Roger Federer. The AR initiative is an innovative experiential event, but Mercedes-Benz has yet to fully capitalize on the marketing campaign via digital channels.