After taking back the responsibilities for marketing, sales and distribution for smart cars, Mercedes-Benz USA is set to begin TV spots for the minicar brand. As early as next week, U.S. viewers will see smart commercials reappear, after a hiatus which started in 2007. The spots will include loan and lease enticements from MB’s financial arm.
Steve Cannon, Mercedes’ vice president of marketing in the U.S., says that “Over the next 18 months, we will create a distinct Smart environment. But we will keep our cost structure low.” What this means is that the smart will be marketed regionally by concentrating on urban environment markets where minicars as commuters and runabouts are eminently practical. Adds Cannon, “We are not going to try to re-educate Middle America. That’s pushing a rock up a hill.”
There are about 45,000 smart ForTwos currently running around America. Cannon’s aim is to create a smart environment and brand consciousness that will increase this number exponentially.l