- Transforming Communication
World premiere of the new S-Class // Mercedes-Benz:
With a show in a class of its own, Mercedes-Benz celebrated the world premiere of the new S-Class at Airbus in Hamburg-Finkenwerder on 15th May 2013. At this presentation, based on a concept produced by OSK and which received worldwide attention, the ruling Queen of the Airways, the A380, was flanked by the appearance of the future Queen of the Road.
“The introduction of a Mercedes S-Class is always an event of the century. But it happens much more frequently,” wrote the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) in 2005. “Another ‘century’ has now passed, and the presentation of the S-Class of the year 2013 really is yet another major event,” was the judgement of the FAZ on 21st May 2013.
Specially for the world premiere of the new Mercedes flagship, OSK had erected a pavilion bristling with multi-media equipment in the Airbus delivery centre – at the exact spot where, normally, Airbus customers from Europe and the Middle East take delivery of their new A380. Some 750 international guests from politics, the economy and the media waited expectantly for the presentation of the S-Class. On a 200-squaremetre LED video wall they experienced live how the new guiding star for luxury travel touched down on board a DHL Airbus A300-600 cargo plane as “Germany’s most valuable package”. For an appearance appropriate to its status, the limousine was flown from Stuttgart to Hamburg exclusively for its world premiere.
Then the gigantic video screen opened up like the door of a hangar to reveal an A380 surrounded by all 20 current Mercedes-Benz models. A firework display lit up the cloudy sky, and the white fleet of star-sporting vehicles swung into motion – dancing a ballet on the runway. To the rhythm of the live music played by the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra and specially composed for the premiere, the new S-Class “danced” splendidly at the head of the family of other models, driving up onto the stage. The first passenger to emerge from within was the world famous star Alicia Keys. Beaming, this musician sat down at the grand piano and sang “How it feels to fly” as well as her current mega-hit “Girl on fire”. This spectacular production was transmitted to the entire world via live stream.
To experience with all five senses the uniqueness and claim to leadership made by this new luxury limousine – this was what Mercedes-Benz demanded to celebrate its world premiere. Grammy-winner Alicia Keys had travelled specially to Hamburg a few days before the start in Liverpool of her European tour. 19 musicians from the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Prof. Johannes Schild, played a variety of pieces which the internationally successful composer of film scores Marius Ruhland had composed especially for the world premiere.
From the culinary point of view, too, the visitors experienced a palate-tickling summit meeting of enjoyment. Mercedes-Benz had opened, for this one evening only, a “ten-star restaurant” unmatched anywhere in the world. Five German star chefs specializing in different styles of cooking and sharing a total of ten Michelin stars among them each created a special dish of their own.
Beside the “ten-star restaurant”, the presentation stage and the backstage areas, the 2,000-squaremetre-or-so premiere pavilion housed an S-Class showroom, a VIP lounge for guests like Franz Beckenbauer, Michael Schumacher, Vicky Leandros, Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko in addition to an extensive product exhibition with a high proportion of multimedia items. On an area of no less than 550 square metres, guests could experience the highlights of the new S-Class via interactive touch screens, animated film sequences, wall graphics, specially-made exhibits and a mobile acoustic studio.
Erecting the temporary building was a tour-de-force of logistics. For about a fortnight, as many as 100 craftspeople from a wide variety of trades were kept busy every day. A total of 160 articulated trucks brought the materials required, which included over 500 metric tonnes of steel, 4,000 square metres of timber, 400 spotlights, 96 loudspeakers, not to mention the LED video wall 28 metres wide and seven metres high. Supplying the additional power of 3,000 kVA meant laying 25 kilometres of new cabling, installing 40 power distributors as well as providing stand-alone generators. Nor was it only the precisely positioned loudspeakers which ensured the event’s “good tone”: there were also 26 output signal pathways and a mixing console with 168 input channels. 400 lamps with 130 electric motors in some 1,000 metres of traverse rigging showed off the S-Class in the best possible light.
“A world premiere in a class of its own” – this was the unanimous opinion of the invited guests, including around 400 journalists from all over the world. Thus Dr. Dieter Zetsche’s hopes were fulfilled: “If you are asked what the world premiere was like, I hope you will say S-Class!”
The response to the new S-Class from guests at the premiere, the world’s press and Internet visitors was overwhelming. Publications on the Mercedes-Benz Facebook page alone reached more than 14 million users. In addition, daily newspapers and specialist magazines gave comprehensive coverage to the event – from the tabloid Bild Zeitung via the Handelsblatt right up to the International Herald Tribune.
A show from a different star
A spectacular show
As grandiose as the company could make it
This presentation based on the idea of bringing together two top German technologies like the A380 and the S-Class, the care and lavishness of its implementation unmistakably shows where Mercedes-Benz positions its S-Class: as the top product of automobile construction, as the best car in the world.
Impossible to imagine more Mercedes