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Mercedes uses visual storytelling

October 2nd, 2011 · 15 Comments · Branding, Media, Storytelling

Mercedes Benz released this print ad series earlier this year and as it often goes, it is just starting to get some viral buzz.

It’s a great example of story telling and connecting with your customers.  It’s a visual version of the Mac versus PC TV spots that we all loved.

Interestingly, the copy on all three ads is the same.  I’m curious — what do you think of the series and what do you think they were trying to accomplish with the campaign?

I’m trying to decide…. are these ads more about Mercedes drivers or the brand?  What say you?

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Mercedes Benz Left and Right Brain ad #1
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Mercedes Benz Left and Right Brain ad #2
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Mercedes Benz Left and Right Brain ad #3
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15 Comments so far ↓

  • Phil Wrzesinski

    My initial reaction was brilliant. They catch your attention. They focus on you, the driver. They describe you with words you would use. Most people who read this will find words that describe them. I think it will especially appeal to the outwardly quiet who have an inner wild side.

    • Drew McLellan


      I think the campaign is quite thought provoking and pretty brave for a car company. I would guess you’re right — they are hoping we will all see ourselves somewhere in the drawings and again — you’re probably right, they’re really reaching for the logical left brainers who are hiding some right brain thinking/behavior!

      It will be interesting to see if the ads move the needle. But they certainly are noteworthy!


  • Karen Dietz

    Well, if I saw these ads without knowing they were from Mercedes, I’d think they were just great pictures illustrating the difference between the left and right brain. So I don’t get the story here at all. And I’m not sure how they connect with customers. IMHO, these are not visual stories at all. They are instead a type of infographic, and in that sense, I like them.

    • Drew McLellan


      Interesting that you don’t see them as visual stories. I think the reader looks at these ads and begins to figure out where they “fit” in the spectrum and which copy/visuals match not only who the world thinks they are but who deep down inside, they believe themselves to be.

      I believe the vehicle we drive, for many people, is a way of branding themselves. So this ad is inviting you to do that. I think the story happens in the viewer’s mind.


      • Karen Dietz

        Hey Drew — yes, you are exactly right in your observations. In my experience, these visuals are actually story triggers. In other words, they trigger a story or stories in the viewer. That’s very different from visual storytelling where a series of images actually tells a story. And the art & science of story triggers is not yet very well understood or recognized today.

        So I love these visuals and think they are very effective story triggers. And that’s how I’ll use them as I train companies in business storytelling.

        • Rick Rickards

          I love how the copy and the visuals combine to capture the essence of The Analytical and The Creative. And I agree readers will self-identify as a result of experiencing the ads, saying to themselves “Yup, that’s me!” in relation to the description that approximates their chemistry.

          But I have no idea how the message connects to the brand, nor how I’m supposed to feel greater affinity for Mercedes because they’ve demonstrated an understanding of the difference between left-brainer and right-brainers. What am I missing?

  • Suzaina

    Ohhhh, It has got that DEVILISH look. That killer streak. I dont know how it messages others. But connects me well. It increases the class all the way.
    Suzaina recently posted..Physical Therapy AssistantMy Profile

  • online ged

    Most people who read this will find words that describe them. I think it will especially appeal to the outwardly quiet who have an inner wild side. I think the campaign is quite thought provoking and pretty brave for a car company.

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  • business logo design

    After reading your post i have a better understanding of what Mercedes uses visual storytelling
    by Drew McClellan really is.
    Your post have the information that is helpfully and very informative. I would like you to keep up the good work.
    You know how to make your post understandable for most of the people.

    Thumbs up and Thanks.


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