“Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?” sang Janis Joplin in 1970. “My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.” Half a century on, instead of wishing for luxury automative brands to fall out of the sky, pop stars now become creative directors for them. Which is the long way round to say that The Weeknd is working with Mercedes-Benz to promote the manufacturer’s new EQC car.
The car is the first fully electric SUV from the company and The Weeknd’s new single, ‘Blinding Lights’ soundtracks the glossy ad in a deal struck between Mercedes-Benz and Universal Music Group & Brands.
“With The Weeknd as the creative director and performer we are addressing young and digital target groups to a greater extent – a perfect combination for this unique Mercedes moment on the road to an electric future,” said Bettina Fetzer, VP of marketing for Mercedes-Benz Cars. It is an interesting example of how artist and brand partnerships are evolving.
The ad runs for two-and-a-half minutes with ‘Blinding Lights’ playing through pretty much all of it. The Weeknd himself also pops up regularly, so in effect it’s a promo video with lots of cars racing around. The Weeknd promotes the car; the car manufacturer underwrites the cost of a video for him; his new single appears throughout; and the vehicle also gets plenty of camera time.