Mercedes’ ‘Immortal Love’ story could live beyond Valentine’s Day

—At more than eight minutes, this film about G-Class driving Vampires isn’t for the short attention-spanned, says Craig Redmond. But it delivers “exquisite, eye candy-coated dramatic tension right to the very last frame”—

Oh my. Talk about being a month late and a few shekels short. But forgive little ol’ misanthropic me—I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day.

I’m even less enamoured with Valentine’s Day advertising. All of which typically panders to the basest human emotional triggers of vanity, self-pity, and guilt. And so, every year I shade the windows to my soul to block out the marketing onslaught up to and including V-Day itself.

That’s why, unfortunately, I missed this effort on behalf of Mercedes G-Class that was released on Feb. 14. Unfortunate because this is so much more than a Valentine’s ad.

First off, the G-Class is one of the most polarizing vehicles ever manufactured, which is surprising since Mercedes is the industry purveyor of car brand prudence. You either love this reincarnation of a WW2 army ambulance, or you absolutely loathe it. Those owners who do love it consider themselves a rebelliously discerning breed apart.

Secondly, there’s its longevity. Despite that polarity in perception, the G-Class continues to roll off the assembly line 42 years after its first incarnation, and is one of Daimler’s longest lasting brands—prevailing for nearly a half-life of its timeless Deutsch cousin, the VW Beetle.

Thirdly, comes its renowned performance and capability. And while the $154,000 starting price is more likely to attract the world’s “bougee” rich, helping them traverse the dangers of Starbucks drive-throughs and the challenges of off-roading over Rodeo Drive sidewalks amidst parallel park peril, the Mercedes G-Class terrain wagon—or “Gelandewagen,” as they say in Germany—is a beast.

Lastly, but not at all least, is how hip-hop chic this thing has become. Everybody from Kanye and Travis Scott to the almighty rapper himself, Pope Francis, have at least one shade of the rainbow range of G-Class SUVs in their driveway. And the brighter that shade, the ball’ier.

All of which is what makes “Immortal Love X G-Class” so much more than just another Valentine’s Day trope. Instead, this is a haunting love story, cleverly interwoven with everything that makes the G-Class so unique.

It’s based on one of the greatest and most enduring tragic love narratives, and literature and cinema’s most mysterious yet revered anti-hero—vampires. It very smartly compares the immortal, elusive elite to the “breed apart” Mercedes owners who choose to zig rather than zag around luxury outlet parking lots in their G-Class tanks.

It unfolds over a protracted eight minutes and eighteen seconds, which, for the fruit fly attentiveness of most viewers, would be an excruciating eternity. But like the 40-plus year legacy of the vehicle itself, the film, inspired by genre masterpieces like The Hunger, outlasts its life expectancy and delivers exquisite, eye candy-coated dramatic tension right to the very last frame.

And finally, it pays homage to that hip-hop street cred with a storyline about a rising rap star who just happens to lack a reflection but, when asked by her mortal lover who she really is, responds only with some of her own lyrical poetry.

So, while I understand the logic of releasing the G-Class “Immortal Love” film on a day when prices for roses and chocolates hyper-inflate, I wonder how many more misanthropes like me skipped their cynical way past the Valentine’s Day marketing madness and missed a good one.

Which is a pity. Because this is a very beautiful and engagingly refreshing interpretation of a very powerful Mercedes G-Class promise.

Stronger than time.

Craig Redmond is a creative leader with Palmer Stamnes and Co, an independent family of marketing communication companies

Craig Redmond