WORK: Mercedes-Benz releases a series of intriguing short films (one with A$AP Rocky)

It’s hard to make a good car ad these days. Audiences are bored of the slick fare they are usually offered, and yet most clients still really, really want that shot of the beautiful new vehicle driving around the cliff edge. In this new set of films, Mercedes-Benz tries to deliver something that will please both: those scenic shots are there but they are nestled in among a set of stories that are intriguing, and at times a little darn bleak.

All revolve on the theme of ‘Grow Up’ and feature photogenic adults (including A$AP Rocky) wrestling with various life challenges, including unrequited love, unplanned parenthood and discovering you’ve been stuck in a job you hate for decades. The mood of all is meditative and sad, but interesting enough to draw you in. And of course in the background are the cars, looking solid and shiny among all the human mess.

This is not the first time that a car brand has opted for this kind of branded content, of course. BMW famously made BMW Films back in 2001 and the mood of the Mercedes-Benz films is also reminiscent of Ford’s series of ads from last year, which tackled divorce. But these new films make a welcome addition to the car-ad-as-short-film genre and sure beat the average shiny car spot.

Agency: antoni; CCO: André Kemper; ECDs: Matthias Schmidt, Martin Pross; Creative director: Veit Moeller; Creatives: Sol Oh, Sebastian Lyman; Director: Gustav Johansson; Production: Iconoclast Germany