ATLANTA -- With nine product launches slated for next year, Mercedes-Benz USA will increase its marketing spending in 2016.
CEO Steve Cannon is calling 2016 the "zenith" of the brand's multiyear product offensive.
"Our challenge will be, how do you support launching nine products?" Cannon said. "That's a huge challenge. It's a big year. There will be more marketing, yes."
Cannon declined to share a dollar figure or the percentage by which marketing spending will increase over 2015.
Next year also marks the halfway point in what Mercedes is calling its product offensive, Cannon said.
Of the nine launches planned for the U.S., five are new or redesigned models. They include the redesigned E-class midsize sedan and the new S-class convertible. Cannon described the other four as significant facelifts. They include the renamed and freshened GLS large crossover and the freshened SL roadster.
That launch count doesn't include AMG variants or niche vehicles such as the E-class wagon slated for late 2016, Cannon said.
Even though next year is the high-water mark in the brand's product rollout and marketing spending will increase, Mercedes won't be in the Super Bowl in 2016.
"I can only handle the stress every other year," Cannon said. "I like stepping up to that platform. It doesn't need to be every single year. We were in there with a big spot last year. So we're going to watch from the sidelines this year."
Committing to a Super Bowl spot also means a large chunk of the brand's marketing spend gets tied up in a single event, he said.
"The expense keeps going up," Cannon said. "It's no longer a TV spot. It's a Super Bowl campaign that has an anchor television spot that you surround with social media, with content, with public relations, with ESPN parties. We tie in a whole landscape of activities around it, so it becomes a really significant part of your budget."