Mercedes-Benz wanted to launch its new-look S-Class with an innovative event that fully showcased the reinvented vehicle. The launch also had to immerse guests in the brand's carefully crafted S-Class world with a unique experience from venue and souvenirs through to F&B.
“Mercedes-Benz wanted a launch that would not only impress its guests, but also set the all-new S-Class apart,” says Benjamin Lau, senior events producer, Uniplan Hong Kong—the agency tasked with executing the event.
Planning began in May and the venue was confirmed around the same time. The concept was finalised in August. Over 600 VIP guests and media attended the launch under the Hong Kong Observation Wheel on the harbourfront.
As Mercedes-Benz’s top-of-the-line series, it was important to associate the S-Class with the city’s most successful people. “The S-Class is all about elegance, luxury and sophistication,” says Lau. “Our creative elements needed to represent all of this, from the use of visual and audio to the unveiling performance.
“We chose the venue due to the immense brand exposure to IFC/Exchange Square, and its visibility from key financial towers in Hong Kong,” he says. “This became the talk of the town and translated into significant coverage across social media.”
Throughout the event, guests were able to capture memorable moments through the “S Video Booth” and share it through their social media channels, generating further exposure. Guests had the opportunity to pose with an ‘S’ and several photos for a GIF image that could then be shared externally on social media.
A live leather-embossing station was also set-up to demonstrate the craftsmanship involved in producing the luxury vehicles. Each guest received a personalised, branded travel wallet with their initials embossed onto it as a souvenir of the event and to provide lasting brand exposure.
The highlight of the evening was the unveiling, which combined one of the world’s top 100 female DJs, a custom interactive dance performance and the China Hong Kong Youth Symphony Orchestra.
“Our main challenge was the weather,” says Lau. “The event was held between two of Hong Kong’s largest typhoons of the century—Typhoon Hato which reached a devastating T10, and Typhoon Pakhar. As a result, we had 48 hours to turn the event around from a raw venue into a glowing branded space.
“To overcome this, effective communication was key. Our teams had to work with our partners and clients closer than ever, ensuring each of the parties were aware of the new schedule and were well informed of any changes.
“This meant challenges needed to be brought up immediately and addressed on the spot. Also, communication needed to be clear, concise and coordinated to maximise efficiency. The venue provided immense support throughout the process.”
Cranes, trucks and many hands worked through the night to erect the marquee, give it a suitably chic interior, set-up photo walls, project branding onto the Observation Wheel and place the three-pointed star badge on mini pastries.
Conrad was contracted to provide the catering, it’s nearby location at Admiralty meant food could be prepared in the hotel kitchens and only heaters required on-site to keep items warm.
“We designed and created an F&B area for guests to enjoy a wide variety of five-star gourmet delicacies combined with star treatment and Conrad staff serving the food fresh,” says Lau.