Underground art, emerging filmmakers and even kasi coffee are not the traditional offering from a motor manufacturer. But that's what you can expect from Mercedes-Benz South Africa's new online lifestyle content portal, mblife.
Mercedes-Benz and its content partner, New Media, have taken the bold step of placing the brand at the centre of contemporary South African culture, with daily online features on new artists, fashion, urban design, ground-breaking technology and more, always supported by beautiful images.
mblife, which is now live, is accessible on computers, tablets and smartphones, giving the new generation of Mercedes-Benz customers - as well as every forward-thinking lover of trends and beauty - the news they want, on the platform they choose.
Unique way of life
"With mblife, we aim to reach those individuals who are interested in the lifestyle embodied by the Mercedes-Benz brand," says Selvin Govender, divisional manager of Marketing for Mercedes-Benz Cars. "We envision mblife as an 'always on' portal to a unique way of life that encompasses not only luxury, style and sophistication, but also a trendy, casual, contemporary influence - one that they will associate with Mercedes-Benz."
Mercedes-Benz is once again at the forefront of digital technology in the way they are talking to their audiences, who can now choose between print, online, facebook and twitter to engage with this iconic brand. Outside of South Africa, mblife is available to an international audience, but the first SA hub has been created from scratch by New Media, in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz' digital agency iProspect, with content that is fresh, new and locally relevant.
New Media has a long-established relationship with Mercedes-Benz, having produced a multi-award-winning print magazine for the brand's customers for the last decade, as well as innovative digital magazines more recently. "This is revolutionary terrain, both for New Media and for Mercedes-Benz," says Dylan Culhane, mblife's online editor.
New era of communication
"At New Media, we're extremely proud to be taking one of the world's most prestigious, long-standing and innovative brands into exciting new territory. mblife also ushers in a new era of consumer communication, forging a meaningful relationship with our client's customers based on shared passions and ideals.
For decades Mercedes-Benz has been involved with people, events, and organisations beyond the realm of motoring. mblife will accordingly showcase the vision, passion, and style associated with the brand philosophy - all from a uniquely South African perspective," concludes Culhane.
The online hub is all about creating the right content specifically for both channel and audience, ensuring the perfect fit. It also allows Mercedes-Benz to extend its reach to a new external audience, giving it the opportunity to introduce its brand and lifestyle to a whole new market as well as its existing customers, and to gather instant feedback and monitor what is of interest to this audience.