Mercedes-Benz Truck approached us about a year ago with a very exciting project. They were creating a new special limited edition Actros Truck, exclusive to the UK. However, they were looking for an identity – they were not sure what to call it. They had a few working titles but wanted to explore other options.
In stepped the creative team at Freestone.
At the time, the Freestone Creative team didn’t realise they would touch upon many of its skills and talents in the execution of the project. Brand design, graphic design, copy writing, photography, film story boarding and production, photography, CGI and even the commissioning of a replica model truck to name but a few.
After Mercedes-Benz Truck Marketing and the Mercedes-Benz product team educated us on what made this special edition a . . . Special Edition – we set to work. The truck was packed with exciting features as standard, Apple Play, a microwave, massage seats, powerful and economical engines, a whole host of safety features and an illuminated star on the front grill just to name a few. As a driver it would be your pride and joy – as a small fleet owner it would be your flagship truck. This truck needed a name that was worthy.
We went to work understanding that the name was only one element required of this project. The name had to mean something. It had to drive a launch campaign. It had to roll off the tongue – it had to be many things.
Names started to flow, some never made it off the scrap of paper it was written on. Some were developed to see where it would lead, sometimes to a dead end but sometimes to some interesting creative ideas.
Eventually after two weeks and many brainstorming sessions we had some strong ideas. All the names had meaning. They linked to the product, meant something to the target audience and reinforced the ideal that this truck was built to be special.
We sat down with Mercedes-Benz Truck and presented the ideas for the name, the logo design and other key elements of graphic designs were visualised to give the team at Mercedes-Benz Truck the best possible glimpse of what the Actros1 could be. Over the course of the meeting one idea jumped out at them immediately.
One Driver. One Truck. Actros1.
Actros1 was born. It was the only truck a truck driver would ever need. It had everything. It was their buddy, it was their colleague, they could work together tirelessly – they were a team. To them it was number 1.
The Actros1 branding was created. Cleverly, the creative team at Freestone used part of the existing Actros logo to create the 1.
Branding was introduced visually to the truck with a subtle livery but combined with striking green highlights (often mistaken for paintwork). The Actros1 has a distinct look. To date over 50 trucks have been completed in the special edition livery.
A teaser campaign was created pre launch – only showing glimpses of the Actros1 on-line and through press campaigns. But with no truck yet available we had to turn to CGI to bring the truck alive.
When the Actros1 was available, a full suite of imagery was then commissioned. Photography was done in a Mercedes-Benz truck training workshop and then the images were retouched to create the effect of the trucks being in photographic studios.
One of the big highlights of the campaign was a short feature film commissioned to launch the truck.
The story of a driver, his family and the Actros1. On the road – away from family and home – contrasted with the Actros1 as part of everyday family life. Shot on location in the peak district, truck stops around the country and Chicheley Hall just outside Milton Keynes. The film was used as a launch platform across all social media and accompanied with the #Actros1 (watch it)
A national advertising campaign was also created for launch – “One Driver. One Truck. Actros1.” Reinforcing the partnership between driver and truck.
To add the final touches of exclusivity to the Actros1, a certificate of authenticity was created and framed along with exclusively branded Actros1 bedding and Mercedes-Benz watch.