Mercedes-Benz launches an innovative Web Special to promote the debut of its new GLK compact SUV. The special features an interactive music video that users can help to design, as well as a "GLK Backstage" section for discussions with the engineers who created the new model. Just as the GLK is setting new trends in the SUV world, so too will the GLK Web Special open up new possibilities for user interaction in online marketing.
"The Internet is one of the most important information channels today," says Dr. Olaf Goettgens, Vice President Brand Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars. "Its significance will only increase in the future because, unlike most media, the Web continues to record ever-higher levels of duration of use. We therefore focus a portion of our advertising activities on the Internet in order to reach new and, above all, young target groups. Static online marketing, on the other hand, is becoming less and less important; these days, it's all about storytelling, moving images, blogs, and other possibilities for users to get involved. That's why we're aiming to step up our dialogue with users and incorporate them more closely into our Internet marketing activities."

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Music video: Animation and transformation through interaction

The GLK Special's music video has users driving the new model in an urban setting, which they can actively help to design. Users also participate in creating the final version of the song Taken Away, which was originally written by the Hamburg electric-house band Digitalism. The setting and the vehicle are entirely produced by computer-generated imagery (CGI), which enables sophisticated and photorealistic animations and transformations. For example, the shape of the surroundings and objects the GLK drives past change to resemble the angular design lines of the vehicle as soon as the user interacts with them. Interaction with the objects also leads to changes in the music, which is modified through new sound effects, much like a remix.
In addition, the Web Special includes a moving car configurator that allows users to put together their own personalized GLK model during the music video drive, whereby they're offered a choice of various colors and rim designs, as well as two equipment packages. As a result, the music video can be run in combination with up to 24 different vehicle configurations.

GLK Backstage: Dialogue with GLK designers and developers

The "GLK Backstage" section of the website, which is available to registered users, allows interested users to obtain comprehensive information on the design and engineering features of the GLK. Each month, a three to five-minute video will be posted that deals with a particular aspect of the vehicle's development, such as design, handling, or safety.
Users can also pose questions to the engineers who created the new compact SUV, and each week the five most interesting questions will be selected and then answered via video by the experts from Mercedes-Benz. GLK Backstage will also be available as a widget for downloading to desktops, which includes an automatic updating feature.
In addition, GLK Web Special content will be posted step by step as a Mobile Special for cell phones featuring information on the GLK, extensive entertainment elements, and exclusive downloads for phones. The Mobile Special will offer the GLK configuration function as well. The new GLK, which will be coming to all Mercedes-Benz showrooms across Europe in October, combines the original angular design of all off-roaders with the typical design features of modern Mercedes-Benz passenger cars.