Mercedes-Benz brings car configuring to Instagram

Car customizers on automobile manufacturers’ websites is conventional, but Mercedes is now bringing this feature to Instagram to promote its new car among the millennial crowd.

The automaker, with help from Razorfish, is introducing Build Your Own GLA, which lets users create their own custom versions of the car. Users choose their preferences from among its different components, such as color, wheels, roof and grill options. All of these components have their own accounts and a number of options to pick from, and users can easily navigate from one component to the next seamlessly and step-by-step just by tapping their mobile screens. There are 132 possible unique configurations of the car, depending on what options users settle for. Those who so prefer the online experience, can also build their own personalized models on Mercedes’ website.

“Instagram has been a very important platform for Mercedes-Benz and continues to grow in popularity among the younger millennial consumer that we are trying to introduce the brand to,” said Mark Aikman, department manager, digital marketing and CRM at Mercedes-Benz USA. “‘Build Your Own GLA’ allows us to talk to them where they are and provide them with an interactive experience within Instagram.”

Mercedes isn’t the only automaker to raise the bar with innovative campaigns recently. Acura let its fans customize cars entirely on Twitter, Lexus developed an Oculus Rift motion simulator to give users a virtual test-drive and Chrysler gave its patrons virtual factory tours.

It is evident, however, that Instagram has emerged as a major social channel for Mercedes. The automaker used Instagram to launch the CLA model last year through the “Take the Wheel” campaign. The”Take the Wheel” generated 87 million Instagram impressions, and the subsequent #GLAPacked campaign led to approximately 25,000 more followers on the Mercedes-Benz USA handle and a 540 percent increase in brand interest measured by the increase in site traffic to Mercedes’ site, according to Aikman.

“Instagram is also a very visual platform, and we fortunately sell very aesthetically appealing products that work well on it,” Aikman added. He added, however, that the key was to always come up with great organic content suited to the platform itself, since even though Instagram has ads now, they can’t be redirected to another landing page.

Mercedes is once again hoping to recreate its past success on Instagram and boost its already-175,000-strong followers on it. It will be looking at engagement metrics such as overall likes, comments and additional followers, as well as general buzz and conversation around @GLA_Build_Your _Own.