Mercedes Benz Tweet-Race
If you have not already heard about the Tweet-Race, it is pretty simple. Mercedes Benz has created a race for two-person teams with a strong social media following (i.e., Twitter and Facebook). It is called “The World’s First Twitter-Fueled Race” and the team that is able to acquire the most Tweets and Facebook likes wins. Read more about the actual event on their Facebook Page here.
Why Is This a Good Program?
1) The Luxury Market Exists Online
Having some experience with lifestyle and luxury brands in social media, I know that the audience exists. According to Forrester Research study, “8 out of every 10 affluent consumers use the Internet to actively research and purchase luxury goods and services on a daily basis.”
Judging from my own social media research, I’ve found that my average “follower” or “friend” is over 30 and holds a Manager or VP level position. A vast majority of my followers make over $80K a year and about 20% of my followers disclosed that make over $100K a year. At the time I conducted this survey, I had about 3000 followers on Twitter and 800 friends on Facebook and received about 300 anonymous responses.
The C – Class Mercedes Benz is the perfect vehicle to conduct a contest of this nature. With the price of the C – Class starting at about $34K, the entry level Mercedes Benz is the best fit for a social media contest. In many cases, the C – Class is a prelude to the E Class or an SUV. As social media grows, audiences age, programs for Mercedes Benz SUVs, Supercars and Roadsters will make more sense.
2) Races Are Fun
Who didn’t love the Cannonball Run? Social Media has become the new television – it is how we access entertainment and information. Creating a situation where teams with strong social media influence, or Klout, are racing each other from various cities (NY, Chicago, LA and Tampa) to the Superbowl in Dallas is about as fun as a race can get. The contestants will be asked to Tweet and Facebook along the way. The Tweets and Facebook updates, if done well, will ignite excitement and encouragement for the teams participating.
Having created and hosted my own social media races, I can say with authority that a race encourages a natural sense of competition and from that competition comes excitement and enthusiasm. Couple that with social media heavy hitters, and your chances of going viral are escalated.
3) Mercedes Benz is SEXY and The Superbowl is HOT
Mercedes Benz has an advantage over the other auto makers who have conducted similar races and contests. Mercedes Benz is sexy and the Superbowl is hot. Everyone wants to know what the inside of a Mercedes Benz looks like and how it feels to drive a Mercedes Benz – the power, the luxury. And the Superbowl is arguably the hottest ticket in the United States.
Other auto companies have experimented with contests where teams of social media power users to race/drive to SXSW or the 140 Conference, sticking strictly to the social media audience. Those are great campaigns, but whereas they focus heavily on the niche social media crowd, this program crosses over taking social media power users and putting them into a mainstream and popular event – the Superbowl.
How Will Mercedes Benz Choose Their Teams?
I briefly looked into the company that is conducting the contest for Mercedes Benz - GotCast.com. The company tagline is “We Discover Talent.” They are a talent agency that books Reality TV personalities and there is a “Pro” option where, I am guessing, people who are trying to become famous pay a premium to access special features on the site.
What does this mean? The Mercedes Benz Tweet-Drive Contest will not only be measuring your social media influence, but also how attractive you are, how well you speak in front of an audience and how you look on YouTube. The contestants will more than likely be people you have already seen on Twitter and Facebook.
My hopes for the contest is that the contestants are not too overused or polished, as that will be a huge #fail. In social media, when you only show your best side, your audience has a tendency to become disillusioned. I have high hopes and look forward to watching how this contest plays out. I want to see some fresh faces, I want to see relevant contestants and I want to see some honesty and REAL authenticity. Only then will Mercedes Benz and GotCast have the ability to create a campaign that receives national buzz all the way up to the Superbowl.