The 2011 Super Bowl was more than a Packers-Steelers showdown — it was also the centerpiece of an innovative auto campaign. After competitors deemed Mercedes-Benz to be old and dodgy, the German car company enlisted Razorfish to liven its image. The Razorfish team, led by Frederic Bonn, launched the first-ever Tweet Race.
It was like any other race, except that the amount of gas each team could use was directly proportional to the volume of tweets it was generating. Four teams (pairs who had extant Twitter followings) competed, each with a Twitter-savvy “celebrity coach” — Serena Williams, Pete Wentz, Nick Swisher or Rev Run – who leveraged their own Twitter followings for the race. The race and the #MBTweetRace hashtag were also marketed via promoted tweets and promoted trends on Twitter.
The campaign generated more than 150,000 tweets from 21,000 users. It’s too early to say whether Mercedes sold more cars because of the campaign, but the goal was more about brand perception, and Mercedes embodied a cool, sleek and cutting-edge vibe in the eyes of consumers.