An ad campaign featuring a Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class piloted by Japan's favourite Italian plumber, Super Mario, has become a viral hit.
The video was uploaded to YouTube on May 28 and has already seen more than 300,000 hits. It features an eight-bit animated, pixelated Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class SUV set in the Super Mario Bros platform, with the car clearly being driven by the main character in the popular Nintendo franchise.
The ad then switches to a real-life setting, where a moustachioed-but-more-muscular-than-usual Mario emerges from the Mercedes-Benz compact SUV and stares down the barrel of the camera before promptly tripping on one of those pesky Goomba mushrooms.
A tweet posted late yesterday from Nintendo's Japanese media team - translated by Google - stated: "Add new collaboration models of Mercedes-Benz 'GLA' appeared Wii U software released today in the 'Mario Kart 8'. Summer of this year, is scheduled for delivery. Please wait for further news." We take that to mean that there will be a new eighth edition of the popular Mario Kart series of games, and the GLA will feature.
It appears the German maker is aiming at younger buyers with the ad campaign, as it widely reported that Gen Y and Millennials in Japan aren't showing the enthusiasm towards cars that previous generations did.
Tell us what you think: will this campaign work?