Satellite

Dish Network Test-Drives New Benz

3/16/2005 9:19 AM Eastern

Mercedes-Benz USA picked an unconventional way to debut its new “M-Class” sport-utility vehicles.

The automaker debuted the new SUVs by giving EchoStar Communications Corp.’s Dish Network direct-broadcast satellite subscribers an advanced "all-access pass" to experience and experiment with the vehicles through an interactive-advertising campaign running through March.

The Dish campaign starts with a 30-second TV spot "Blank Page," which links viewers via an on-screen pop-up message to an interactive Web-like environment on the TV. From this interactive channel, viewers can use their remotes to preview an expanded version of a TV advertisement called "Test Track," detailing the capabilities of the new M-Class, which will also air on Dish Network shopping channel “Catalog.”

Viewers can also access a photo gallery, order brochures and learn about the new M-Class through advanced interactive-TV advertising developed by Dish and Turner Media Group and built by OpenTV Corp.

“With this interactive-marketing campaign, Mercedes-Benz is taking advantage of emerging platforms to reach the right people with the right messages," vice president of marketing Michelle Cervantez said in a prepared statement.

EchoStar VP of programming Susan Arnold added, “No other automaker has developed or provided this depth of information for a model launch via interactive television.”

October