In 1996, Designory had the chance to work with long-time client Mercedes-Benz on the launch of their new E-Class sedan. This vehicle represented a huge shift in the MB aesthetic and brand, and they were eager to leverage emerging digital techniques to really emphasize the change. As part of an extensive marketing program, we also developed a couple of really intriguing (and highly awarded) digital pieces.
Based on the concept "It's Time.", a CD-ROM distributed prior to launch presented users with a long tapestry of thumbnail images. Five days before the car was unveiled, sections of the tapestry began to unlock. Users could then click on each thumbnail to reveal an image, video or sound clip. Once played, each thumbnail turned transparent, in turn beginning to reveal tantalizing bits of the vehicle behind. On the fifth day, the entire tapestry was unlocked, and users watched an original five-minute video introducing the new E-Class.
A second piece served an entirely different purpose. Mercedes-Benz is all about engineering, and the new E-Class was tour de force of innovative features and technologies. More importantly, they are all part of an integrated system, and often serve more than one purpose. To bring these technologies to life, we created an application housed on two diskettes. (Remember those?) Users could peel away layers of the car to reveal various features. They could also view each layer through the different lenses of Reliability, Comfort, Performance and Safety. Often, the same feature would appear in different views, revealing a different aspect of its function.
Amazingly, there were hundreds of these factoids packed onto to those two diskettes in less than 5 megabytes of space! The set was packaged with the vehicle brochure, which was able to focus on more emotive and aesthetic reasons to consider an E-Class.
I still love both of these pieces, in all their 256 color glory. They are both really engaging interaction models that I think would be even more effective in today's tablet environment.