Remember the nodding dog on your dashboard? Well, he's been replaced with a digital successor.
In partnership with internet sensation Superplastic, Mercedes-Benz is reinventing the iconic nodding dog for the digital age.
Announced at CES 2023, the two entities will work together to introduce a new character to the Superplastic world. Superdackel - a reinvention of the much-loved "Wackeldackel" dashboard companion - will feature in a short film starring Janky and Guggimon, characters from the Superplastic universe.
The plot centers around the aforementioned duo "borrowing" a Mercedes-Benz from a dealership and finding Wackeldackel in the car as they set off. After a fun-filled night in New York City that includes a car chase and a brief encounter with a magical space whale, the rigid Wackeldackel transforms into Superdackel as he warms up to his new friends.
The unlikely collaboration makes sense in an automotive arena that is fast-adapting to the digital world. Since the advent of the automobile, people have enjoyed personalizing their vehicles, and with cutting-edge technology becoming mainstream in modern cars, doing so in the digital realm is becoming commonplace.
"Mercedes-Benz has reinvented and reinterpreted its brand and vehicles for a modern, digital era - so why shouldn't the iconic Wackeldackel receive an update, too? We warmly welcome Superdackel to the Mercedes Benz family," said Mercedes' Vice President of communications and marketing, Bettina Fetzer.
Those in attendance at CES 2023 can see Superdackel, with Mercedes-Benz displaying an 8.2-foot figurine of the character. Paul Budnitz, founder and CEO of Superplastic, says the Wackeldackel is a pop culture icon and he's honored to have been able to reinvent it for a new era.
"We love forcing brands out of their protective shell. But Mercedes has been a fantastic collaborator, and this partnership has been very symbiotic. Janky, Guggimon, and other animated celebrities in the Superplastic universe get to cruise the world in the greatest luxury cars on earth while introducing the new-and-improved Superdackel to millions of their fans."
While his company was tasked with transforming the Wackeldackel for a new age, Budnitz admits he's a huge fan and had an original version on the dashboard of his classic 230CE (a precursor to the E-Class Coupe).
But, for Mercedes, this is just the beginning. Fetzer says this partnership will enable the luxury brand to explore new avenues of culture and entertainment. "[This]includes delving into areas and genres that could be considered unconventional for our brand. The goal: to challenge expectations and interact with cultural pioneers and new audiences."
Mercedes-Benz and Superplastic say fans should look out for more Superdackel adventures in 2023, with plenty to look forward to in the coming months. "It's going to be quite the road trip," say Fetzer and Budnitz.
If you're wondering what Superplastic is, allow us to explain. The company describes itself as a global entertainment brand and is known for creating original social media content through synthetic celebrities and influencers. If that's not tangible enough for your tastes, the company also releases limited toys and apparel from time to time and has worked with brands like Gucci and Fortnite before.
Fans of Mercedes may find this a touch underwhelming but worry not. This year, we can expect the Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV to hit the scene, along with a refreshed GLB-Class and a facelifted CLA-Class.