Mercedes-Benz engages fans with 'Fashion Plates'

MONTVALE, NJ: New York Fashion Week sponsor Mercedes-Benz has launched an initiative highlighting the carmaker's connection with fashion and design.

MONTVALE, NJ: New York Fashion Week sponsor Mercedes-Benz has launched an initiative highlighting the carmaker's connection with fashion and design.

The company engaged 30 designers and fashion influencers to create license plates that showcase their cutting edge styles for the program, called “Mercedes-Benz Fashion Plates.”

The designers include Anna Sui, Badgley Mischka, Betsey Johnson, Carmen Marc Valvo, and Jenny Packham. Influencers include Karlie Kloss, Derek Blasberg, and Danielle Nachmani.

Mercedes' brand team has mulled over the idea for a custom or vanity plate initiative for several seasons, said Adam Paige, brand PR manager at Mercedes-Benz.

“Each season, we challenge ourselves to come up with unique angles to activate on our title sponsorships,” he added.

Paige said the time was right for the plate program because the company unveiled the 2014 CLA Sedan during last Sunday's Super Bowl. The car's target audience is younger buyers with its $29,990 price tag.

In addition to displaying the plates on a wall installation outside of the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge at Lincoln Center, the CLA has a “Fashion Plate” reading “RDY2WEAR.”

To create buzz for the wall display and plate program, Alison Brod, Mercedes' agency partner for about three years, held a media event last Thursday. Paige said the brand will hold interviews with various media outlets during the week-long event, including fashion, entertainment, and automotive media.

Mercedes is trying to get consumers involved in the program with a contest on its Facebook page, which has more than 1.3 million fans. Consumers are invited to enter the Mercedes-Benz “Fashion Plate Scramble,” where they can try to figure out which designer created each plate based on scrambled words. One hundred winners will receive a Mercedes-Benz Fashion Plate of their own.

The initiative also has a cause marketing element, Paige said, with Mercedes working to benefit amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research.

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