Responses by Mark Aikman, general manager, marketing and digital customer experience, Mercedes-Benz USA
Background: With the robust activity we’ve maintained on social platforms, approximately 1,600 people join Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA)’s Instagram journey every day. So, we felt it was a good time to pause and recognize all of our followers who helped us get here. At 1.9MM Instagram followers, we put the brand’s promise to task: The Best or Nothing. We aimed to best the competition and deliver a superior experience to our fans with a moving, but fast approaching 2MM target.
Reasoning: To honor Mercedes-Benz USA fans, we created a visual representation of what MBUSA’s Instagram community both looks like and loves. We built “M(illion)osaic” images that feature the brand’s top posts of all time. Each mosaic design is a re-creation of these posts, comprised entirely photos our fans have tagged us in throughout the years.
Challenges: Before MBUSA’s Instagram following hit the 2MM mark, we had to efficiently identify the most-liked photos, collect, download and then turn user-generated content into mosaics. A small team made up of a developer, writer, visual designer and producer at R/GA made it happen. While it was a labor-intensive manual process that would have exceeded our deadline, the team managed to pull this off in less than a week.
Favorite details: The various ways we brought the Mercedes-Benz fans’ love to life through this activation. Our 2 “M(illion)osaic” posts were made for and from the things that fans love most about the MBUSA brand on Instagram.
Time constraints: We had to go through the full creative process before our 2MM hit. The looming opportunity was accelerated by an increase in our follower growth rate since changing our Instagram handle. This shortened our runway, but in an exciting way; we had greater discoverability of the handle and an imperative to create something in real time for our followers.
Specific demands: To find a way to celebrate our fans and say thanks with more than a typical brand play. Fortunately, with the following and loyalty we’ve built over the years, we had a palette of 175k #MBUSA tagged photos from the fans who have announced their love for the brand’s national presence. By utilizing the full capability of our agency, R/GA, we were able to make something special out of those 175k photos, and do it quickly, efficiently and thoughtfully.