Mike Jackson started this year by watching monthly sales of Mercedes-Benz in the United States top both Cadillac and Lincoln. Then the Mercedes-Benz USA Inc. CEO moved his $100 million ad account to Omnicom Group's Merkley Newman Harty from Lowe & Partners/SMS, both in New York.
'I think part of our success has been the willingness to take risks and to innovate,' said Jackson, who joined Mercedes from the ranks of its dealers. Since 1995, Jackson has launched a redesigned Mercedes E class and the new M class.
'The creative (advertising) style (is) such that when you look at it, your first reaction is perhaps `not what you expected from Mercedes,' but your take-away at the end is `that is what I expected from Mercedes,' ' Jackson said.
'I think it's that open, risk-taking environment that we've established in working with our partners that has been a success factor for us - and that's not going to change.'
This spring, the redesigned S class went on sale and early dealer and customer response indicates another hit. Said Jackson, 'We expect that we'll have a very good median age for a vehicle in this price category, somewhere in the low 50s.'