Poetry in Motion


Client: Mercedes-Benz Vans

Mercedes-Benz Vans wanted to drive appeal with small business owners and show the brand understands and cares about them through a compelling media relations campaign. We carried out new research that revealed the van community felt unfairly stereotyped: 71% felt judged or underestimated and 66% believed people thought they were uneducated. But the reality was far from that – 64% liked going for long walks, 34% practised mindfulness, and a quarter regularly tuned into BBC Radio 4. To challenge perceptions of what it means to be a van driver and how MBV supports small businesses, we launched Poetry in Motion, the first poetry book penned exclusively by van drivers.

A social competition saw hundreds of van drivers submit their poems, with 30 of the best published as a ‘vanthology’ – launched on National Poetry Day, at a slam poetry event in front of journalists and stakeholders. Britain’s most poetic van driver was awarded a Mercedes-Benz Van. The combined assets of a book, campaign video and event allowed us to forge new relationships with journalists outside the motoring press, earning high-quality coverage in top tier mainstream, lifestyle and business press. As a result of Poetry in Motion, there was a 96% uplift in those agreeing that Mercedes-Benz Vans cares about SME owners, (24% to 47%). They were also more likely to think positively of Mercedes-Benz Vans as a brand (38% vs 43%).