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Mercedes' Super Bowl Ad Gives an Aesop Classic a Modern Makeover, 2 years, 8 months ago

Academy-award winning Robert Stromberg directs animated ad from Merkley + Partners

Mercedes' Super Bowl Ad Gives an Aesop Classic a Modern Makeover

Merkley + Partners has launched the new Super Bowl spot for Mercedes, featuring an epic retelling of the Aesop tale 'The Tortoise & the Hare', with an unexpected twist.

In the spot titled 'Fable', the Tortoise and the Hare set out in a race across the forest amid cheers from the Hare’s posse of woodland creatures. The Hare gets a dramatic head start over his “slow and steady” competitor, but then slips off the course for a card game with his buddies. Meanwhile, the Tortoise stumbles upon the AMG factory where a gleaming silver Mercedes-AMG GT S has just been assembled. Engine wailing, the Tortoise races the GT S through the wilderness, beating the Hare to the finish line to the surprise and delight of his newfound supporters.

'Fable' was directed by academy-award winning director Robert Stromberg, known for his stunning visual effects in such films as Avatar, Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent. A live-action-animation hybrid, Stromberg’s first TV spot combines vividly real CG characters with classic storytelling.

Merging reality and fantasy, the production team carefully considered subtle-yet-crucial detail to breathe life into each character, from the hero characters – the hare, tortoise, and she-hare – to a full cast of supporting characters, including a quirky mole, a card-dealing weasel, and a referee fox.

The project spanned three months to translate the cast of characters from concept art to living creature. Stromberg filmed in the woods of Oregon to create a sense of realism. “We tend to think of fables as things of the past,” Stromberg says. “It’s fascinating for me to render a classic tale with modern tools, yet keep the message timeless.”


Advertiser: Mercedes

Creative Agency

Creative Agency: Merkley + Partners

Interactive / Digital Agency

Digital Agency: Razorfish (New York)

Music and Sound

Music Production: Woodwork Music


Edit Company: Cut + Run

Post Production / VFX

Post Production House: MPC (New York)

Production Company

Director: Robert Stromberg

Production Company: RSA Films

Category: Automotive , Cars

Genre: Animation , Comedy