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Mercedes Separates Star from Brand Name

October 22, 2007

STUTTGART, GERMANY – Mercedes-Benz is separating its iconic three-pointed star logo from its name. That’s the most obvious visual change the German automaker is instigating worldwide on Nov. 1. It is the first major revision of Mercedes-Benz brand identity in 18 years, which recently separated itself from Chrysler, according to Marketing Daily.

The new look will appear in European-market advertising for the 2008 C-Class sedan and Estate wagon, and in the United States next year. The effort, which also includes a transformation of the three-star logo from a three-dimensional visual to a two-dimensional shape, affects both Mercedes passenger cars and commercial vehicles.

The company said the change, which reflects a “more sharply focused brand positioning” program begun last year, will be reflected in advertising as well as corporate communications. Specifically, the star will now always appear atop creative executions and communications, with the Mercedes-Benz name on the bottom. Both will appear in what the company calls “arrow silver,” with the positioning reflecting a new corporate mantra, “The Star always shines from above.”

The company also said that advertising for Mercedes globally will adhere to a kind of creative template in which images of automobiles will prevail in settings around architecture, people, and landscapes, according to Marketing Daily.

The forthcoming European-market ads follow the new theme. Ads for the C-Class show the vehicle up close — as it appears to be speeding along a causeway past the viewer, away from a sun-dappled series of waterways and islands, with mountains ranging in the background under lowering clouds, suggesting the drama of Albert Bierstadt’s nature paintings. Another, for the C-Class Estate wagon, sets the vehicle in a sere Aegean landscape, on what looks to be the set of a Greek dramatic tragedy, complete with chorus.

The company is also installing a retail strategy, including a color scheme for dealership signage in “midnight blue.”

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