On 5 February 2017, when the American football final will be held in Houston, Texas, billions of people around the world are beckend to their TV screens, Mercedes-Benz will once again be present with a film. “Easy Driver” pays homage to a series of legends: true to the original of the cult film from 1969 no one else except its main actor and Mercedes fan Peter Fonda and the song “Born to be wild” by the band Steppenwolf were eligible. Directed by Oscar-winning duo Joel and Ethan Coen, the film unites the legendary actor with the new Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster*. Together they rediscover the sense of freedom and adventure that Fonda used to experience on his motorbike trips across the vast American plains. The Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster allows the driver to sense the closeness of the road and the sound of its 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine at its most extreme. It’s a sports car that is “Built to be wild”.
“Times have changed, and not just for Peter Fonda. ‘Easy Driver’ aims to show that that intensive feeling of freedom is absolutely compatible with our GT Roadster, without losing any of the fascination of those earlier days. The film is also a classic example of how well the cooperation between our international agencies works”, says Dr Jens Thiemer, Vice President Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars.
Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH, adds: “The film is a really successful media kick-off into our 50th company anniversary. We are delighted that the new Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster is going to be playing a major role at this year’s US-American football final. Freedom and adventure are the perfect fit for a car that provides the most intensive way ever to experience true Driving Performance.”
The film shows how a group of hardcore bikers, still clinging on to the old dream of freedom on two wheels, have to learn just how much times have changed. The tough bikers are having a good time in a run-down bar on the legendary Route 66. As their anthem, “Born to be wild” plays non-stop in the background, anything goes when it comes to winning the arm-wrestling contest. A whole “wall of fame” is devoted to their hero, Peter Fonda. High spirits prevail. The good mood ends abruptly when the bikers notice that their bikes have been blocked in by a new Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster. The viewer gets a sense that trouble is looming for the car and its driver. But when he does suddenly appear, he leaves the tough guys wondering whether perhaps, after all, it’s time to re-do their tattoos. Of all people it is Peter Fonda, himself an icon of the motorbike world, who demonstrates the modern-day version of how to live the “American Dream” with a roar of his engine and smoke from his tyres. The idea and script for the film “Easy Driver” stem from Mercedes-Benz’s lead agency in Europe, antoni. Realisation of the concept was done together with Merkley+Partners, the agency responsible for Mercedes-Benz in North America. Together they were able to secure Joel and Ethan Coen (“Fargo”, “The Big Lebowski”, “No Country for Old Men”) to direct. The Oscar award-winners added numerous ideas of their own to the original script, along with their own special humour. Filming, with a cast selected by the legendary Coen brothers themselves, took place not far from Los Angeles.
Mercedes-Benz has previously been represented at the American football final, with films in 2011, 2013 and 2015. The new aspect this year is the unique global collaboration between the German agency and the U.S. agency in the realisation of the spot on behalf of Mercedes and AMG. “Easy Driver” is also one of an extremely small number of commercials ever to have been directed by the Coen brothers. The launch of the film is being flanked by trailers and further social media content produced by the agencies antoni (Germany), Merkley+Partners (USA) and the US digital agency R/GA. The film can be seen for the first time at http://mb4.me/easydriver.