#explorewildtaiga: A tour through the Taiga with the G-Class for social media fans
Stuttgart/Oulanka National Park. One iconic off-roader, two creative people and deserted roads traversing the wilds of Finland: Mercedes-Benz teamed up with the Finnish wildlife photographer Konsta Punkka and the Italian filmmaker Oliver Astrologo for a spectacular "Content Creation Tour" through Finland's landscape and nature. Punkka and Astrologo spent eleven days on the road in a Mercedes-Benz G-Class, travelling through Punkka's homeland from Helsinki to the Oulanka National Park in northern Finland. The aim of the social media campaign #explorewildtaiga was to bring the Finnish Taiga closer to outdoor fans and G-Class enthusiasts by providing images of an extraordinary off-road trip in the G-Class. The campaign allows followers to experience the tour digitally via the further development of an interactive and personalised Messenger Bot. In addition to this, the campaign offers other experiences with platform-compatible social media content such as vlogs. On the tour, Konsta Punkka set his sights on Finland's "Big Five" - wolf, brown bear, elk, lynx and wolverine - taking a series of impressive close-up shots. Oliver Astrologo captured touching pictures of the landscape in the Finnish Taiga. The first vlogs are online from 8 October. The Messenger Bot starts on 11 October 2018, via Facebook Messenger: http://mb4.me/MBJourneys
"With #explorewildtaiga, we are opening up a new chapter in our digital storytelling. Our followers can witness the G-Class Outdoor Experience in Taiga, Finland from unusual, self-chosen perspectives. Our new "MB Journeys" Messenger Bot lets followers decide how they want to proceed on each day of the online tour. It's almost like travelling in the G-Class with your best friend," says Natanael Sijanta, head of Marketing Communication, Mercedes-Benz Cars.
Mercedes-Benz storytelling: up close, intensive, and with a 360-degree view
The campaign offers followers new pictures, videos and other formats for six days, ranging from vlogs to wildlife portraits and landscape shots to behind-the-scenes pictures. The "MB Journeys" interactive Messenger Bot will run until 16 October, allowing users to adopt their own perspective of the events. Each day they can decide whether to focus on the vehicle, the landscape, the wildlife, or the people. To individualise the stories for the users in this way, 85 content pieces have been produced in the form of pictures and videos. A Storytelling Bot of this magnitude and with this storytelling format is a first in the automotive industry.
With #explorewildtaiga Mercedes-Benz uses all the owned and paid-media options on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter et al. The 360-degree campaign can be seen on the social-media channels of Mercedes-Benz and the protagonists, and is supplemented by classic PR.
"Our aim is to get as close as possible to our followers," says Natanael Sijanta. "Our work together with influencers is therefore not simply aimed at increasing coverage. We involve them intensively in the content creation. Furthermore, we offer platform-compatible content, including in 9:16 vertical format. With 'MB Journeys', we have also developed our Mercedes-Benz Messenger Service further with a personal and interactive format."
A video impression of the tour can also be viewed on Mercedes-Benz YouTube:
The #explorewildtaiga tour
Konsta Punkka and Oliver Astrologo covered around 2,600 kilometres on their trip through the Finnish landscape. They started out in Finland's capital and drove their G-Glass as far as Taiga in the Arctic Circle. During the endless days of the Arctic summer, they roamed through ancient conifer forests and deserted off-road terrain interspersed with crystal-clear lakes and rivers. "I know northern Finland really well. I hope I never stop seeing the beauty of this countryside. Sometimes I spend days and weeks in the nature of my homeland and get to know the wildlife around me even better every time. The G-Class was the perfect partner here," says Konsta Punkka, recounting his adventure.
About Konsta Punkka
Konsta Punkka is a wildlife, adventure and landscape photographer whose photos are published worldwide. The 21-year-old Finn gets closer to the inhabitants of the forest than most. His speciality is intimate close-up shots that capture the emotions of the wildlife at the moment of the shot. With his portraits of foxes, squirrels, bears and other wildlife, the Finn has more than a million followers on Instagram. More information about Konsta Punkka is available at: www.konstapunkka.com
About Oliver Astrologo
Oliver Astrologo is an Italian filmmaker resident in London and Rome. He has spent more than 15 years working for brands and companies in the fashion, automotive and travel industries. Astrologo specialises in producing moving images for digital platforms. He is one of the most in-demand video producers on the social web. More information about Oliver Astrologo is available at: www.oliverastrologo.com
Overview of the films and content produced on the G-Class Taiga tour
The G-Class and Konsta Punkka – a look behind the scenes
Vlog 1: http://mb4.me/wild-taiga-vlog-1
Vlog 2: http://mb4.me/wild-taiga-vlog-2
The film: The G-Class and Konsta Punkka on tour through the Taiga
Interview with Konsta Punkka: "Brutal endurance"
Interactive Messenger Bot #MBjourneys about the tour