Berlin-based agency antoni created this campaign introducing the new Mercedes-Benz G-Class, hearkening back to the automotive brand’s DNA and legacy. Titled “Stronger Than Time,” the CG/live-action piece was directed by Ole Peters of Hamburg-based Sehsucht and unfolds to music and sound design from Yessian Music in Hamburg. Yessian’s efforts earned the number one slot in SHOOT’s quarterly Top Ten Tracks Chart.
At the heart of the campaign is a massive amber-like block installation, with an original 1979 model G-Class suspended inside. Peters explained, “Amber has preserved the DNA of life for over 40 million years—the exceptional characteristic of the iconic G-class design is still predominantly the same after 40 years. This is an exception on the automotive market where cars tend to look more and more similar. The parallels between the preserved DNA in amber and the same design DNA of the G-class led to the core idea of this campaign and finally to the film. One of the main challenges was to create a transition between dynamic and powerful driving shots of the G-Class and the journey at a macro level through the static amber material.”
Uli Witt, senior producer at Yessian Music in Hamburg, observed, “The main challenge with the concept the agency had in mind was finding the right musical idea to match the momentum and the inert moments where the time almost stands still. We felt that the music would have to be spot on to convey the right emotional categories that needed to be associated with this unique car. Strength, class, and mysterious timelessness made it necessary to find a combination of a matching musical counterpart. Furthermore this musical concept needed to be compatible with the dynamic structure of the film, alternating between the full force of the driving scenes and the attenuated sequences of being trapped inside the amber as a time capsule.
"Exploring the very conceptual idea of enhancing classical music in terms of force and momentum showed soon," continued Witt, "that we needed to combine contemporary score approaches with classical elements to avoid falling into masculine or virtuous cliches, which would have ruled out one or two of the needed emotional categories. The biggest challenge after having found the right musical recipe was transitioning between the two alternating worlds."
Ingmar Rehberg, executive producer/managing director of Yessian in Hamburg, related, “The biggest takeaway with this project was that it is not possible to match all necessary challenges without getting a grip of the very intellectual and philosophical mechanics that were embedded in the concept of the film. By only delving into and maintaining the vision of how to tell the story of a hero in the abstract and metaphysical context of time itself, we wouldn’t have been able to find the right strategy. We had to take this idea a step further. After all, this was a very large launch for the G-Class and taking place at one of the automotive centers of the world, Detroit. In the end we learned that it always pays off to first put a lot of brainpower into concepts before being inspired by the right way to start the process.”
The Yessian ensemble of talent on “Stronger Than Time” also included composer Zacharias Adrian, chief creative officer Brian Yessian, sound designer/audio post mixer Max Fritz, sound designers Michel Riecken and Robin Großkopf, production head Michael Yessian and producer Lukas Lehmann.
See the March 2018 Top Ten Music Chart here.
Client Daimler AG/Merdedes-Benz Agency antoni, Berlin Martin Pross, Tillman Gosner, creative directors; Alexander Holtz, creative director/copywriter; Matthias Bauer, art director; Mark Rota, producer. Production and VFX Sehsucht, Hamburg Ole Peters, director; Jan Tiller, exec producer; Tanya Curnow, Stephan Reinsch, producers; Bernd Wondollek, DP; Axel Brötje, Julius Brockelmann, Caroline Goehner, design; Daniel Jahnel, Timo von Wittken, Juan Pablo Brockhaus, 3D lead; Sebastian Welti, Jannes Kreyenberg, Max Zachner, Thure Koch, Ben Watts, Florian Breg, Raphael Vincente, Alexander Siquans, Hannes Gerl, Christoph Gaudl, 3D; Maurice Jochen, Ivan Vasiljevic, additional assets; Florian Zachau, compositing lead; Jona Maluck, Alexander von der Lippe, Patrick Altmeier, Christian Reimann, compositing; Mitra Navab-Pour, motion design; Artur Jagodda, Sabine Panek, editors. (Toolbox: Houdini, Maya, Arnold, Redshift, ZBrush, Yeti, Mari, Nuke, Resolve) Production Services, Spain Myway Production Tina Dobslaw, Rita Gil Music & Sound Design Yessian Music, Hamburg, Germany Brian Yessian, chief creative officer; Zacharias Adrian, composer; Ingmar Rehberg, EP/managing director; Michael Yessian, production head; Uli Witt, Lukas Lehmann, producers; Max Fritz, Michel Riecken, Robin Großkopf, sound designers Audio Post Yessian, Hamburg Max Fritz, mixer Voiceover Recording Loft Studios Berlin