At the IAA, Mercedes-Benz traditionally presents its entire portfolio on a gigantic stage in the Festhalle in Frankfurt. Together with Atelier Markgraph, we were responsible for a forty-minute live show. This included the concept, the art direction, and the production of all media, including the soundtrack and the sound design.
The stage design featured a kinetic curtain of LED elements, which obscured a gigantic three-story-high shelving system, in which the complete product range was displayed. On cue, the curtain revealed the cars behind. An additional, folding, high resolution LED screen that was divided into two parts, and which moved across the complete width of the stage, was used for the moments when the specially featured cars emerged on stage.
This year, digitally enhanced live communication took center stage. To this end, we used augmented reality to demonstrate to the viewer how vehicles go online in digital space and how they recognize and react to their real-world surroundings using their sensor arrays.
The main tool that we used for this purpose was the Spidercam, moving elegantly and silently throughout the space. The live-feed from the action on stage captured by the camera was enhanced by real time augmented reality and shown directly on the media surfaces, using an extremely stable camera tracking system developed in cooperation with the camera manufacturer.
Using the Spidercam’s own control and sensor data, a perfectly synchronized virtual camera was navigated through a 3D scan of the stage space. Thus, the system delivered the solid and reliable data, which only made this real time AR layer possible.
In the chapter that covered the topic of ‘Intelligent Mobility’, which featured a dialogue between two presenters and the audience, the Festhalle was transformed into a virtual broadcasting studio. The vehicles’ digital product features were made tangible for the audience as augmented elements of the stage show that were synchronized with the live action.
For the show part ‘The Year of the SUV’, we had the new SUV models driving along virtual routes through the desert, the forest and snowy cityscapes, in which they had to face various augmented challenges such as damaged bridges, fallen trees or snowdrifts.
A further show highlight and audience favourite was the World Premiere of the new C-Class Coupé. For this, we developed a performance with a live drummer, accompanied by visuals that directly reacted with the live sound, which we combined with full-CGI shots of the car.
Further chapters that featured the S-Class Maybach and the World Premiere of the new S-Class Cabriolet rounded off the show.
All soundtracks and sound effects were written and produced by us as well.
For the chapter ‘Year of the SUV’ we chose a dramatic and percussion-laden approach that emphasized the excitement of the challenges posed by the various obstacles and weather situations. For the C-Class World Premiere we collaborated with the producer, composer and drummer Christian Prommer, with whom we wrote a track that he performed live on stage. An elegant and emotional piano piece formed the perfect accompaniment to the Maybach chapter. For the S-Class Cabriolet we penned a pop song with hip-hop beats and piano, and collaborated with the singer Kaye-Ree who performed some soulful vocals on it.
Client: Marketing & Sales Mercedes-Benz Cars (MS/MAF)Lead agency: Atelier Markgraph, Frankfurt
Concept for media content and presentation: Atelier Markgraph & MonomangoArt Direction Monomango: Lois Kainhuber
CGI: Jan Weber, Tim Stolzenburg, Nino Matthey, Derya Öztürk, Jonathan Margies, Joscha Kadegge, Hannes WeikertEditor: Farid Martin
Music & SFX: Olivier Fröhlich, Jan Siebert, Christian Prommervocals `s-class coupé`: Kaye-Ree