Mercedes-Benz tap 'tough guy' Henry Rollins to launch its first ute

27 March 2018

Creative Agency: The Royals

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Working alongside The Royals and the auto brand, former Black Flag frontman Rollins explores the evolution of 'tough' in Australia.

Mercedes-Benz Vans has launched its first ute in a campaign featuring American musician, actor, writer and TV and radio host Henry Rollins.

Created in partnership with The Royals, the campaign, 'Tough Conversations', was designed to challenge the stereotype of toughness in the ute market.

The campaign includes a podcast series, radio partnership, eDMs, social and online content and a one-hour documentary airing in April.

To create the content, Rollins was approached to take a road trip across the country and gain an understanding of the Australian perception of toughness.

By highlighting the evolution of ‘tough’ Mercedes aims to reflect the values of a more progressive audience and connect with a new type of ute driver.

“The X-Class ute is the first of its kind. It’s a new kind of tough. This got us thinking about Australians and tough. Many Australians are sick of the outdated stereotype of what tough means – hiding your emotions or working out at the gym till something bursts," The Royals creative partner Nick Cummins says.

“To explore what tough really means to Australians today we turned to Henry Rollins – a man who has evolved from a head-butting, fist-fighting frontman to an intellectual touring the world with his Spoken Word concerts, challenging outdated beliefs and traditions."

Mercedes-Benz just handed its global creative account to Publicis following a competitive pitch.

The Royals, which have been working with Mercedes-Benz Vans since 2016, are not impacting by the global shakeup.

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