World premiere Mercedes-Benz, Detroit 2018
A formerly grand theatre became the stage for the world premiere of the new Mercedes-Benz G-Class. The show under the dome of the former Michigan Theatre perfectly represented the product claim “stronger than time” and provided the iconic picture of the Detroit Auto Show 2018.
Built in 1925, the Michigan Theatre at that time accommodated 4,000 guests. It saw stars like Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Doris Day celebrating their big successes. Since the mid-seventies however, the once magnificent building with its lavish Renaissance-style ceiling carves out a sad existence as a sordid parking block – without losing any of its timeless fascination, even in decay.
For almost 40 years, the theatre has been waiting for its revival. The premiere of the new G-Class and its campaign slogan “stronger than time” provided the perfect occasion for it. Since it was first built in Graz/Austria, in 1979, the G-Class has been the longest running series of models by Mercedes-Benz. Across the decades, it defied the zeitgeist and maintained its typical features and strong character.
OSK staged the new edition of the strapping classic, which once prompted the creation of the word “off-road vehicle”, in the impressive theater setting as a multimedia storm of the elements with barnstorming live effects – leaves whirling around, thunder and lightning, wind and fire. Three G-Class vehicle crested the LED sculpture with 40 degree steep ramps, on which the SUV had already proven its driving dynamics and cross-country mobility during its static premiere.
For the imposing final scene the G-Class sat enthroned on the peak, like a deer on a rock, sublime, defying everything else, only the Renaissance dome of the former theater above, a picture truly “stronger than time”.
The result: paramount global media coverage for both brand and model – and an entry in the Detroit history book.