- A few years ago, the government of Moscow decided to remove all the car dealer’s showrooms from the city center. Mercedes-Benz showrooms had to comply with this requirement as well. But the manufacturer's desire to have a strong presence in the city center led to the appearance of the Mercedes Me Café concept. Mercedes Me Cafés form a chain of cafés that promote the brand in the areas where its potential customers concentrate.
- The concept especially emphasizes the beautiful and interesting interactive elements that draw the visitors’ attention to the brand. The possibilities of interaction with the visitors were realized through touchscreen displays.
Sphere: automotive; motor-car construction
The marketing agency, that was hired by Mercedes-Benz to create the Mercedes Me Café concept, has come up with the following technical tasks:
Andersen’s experts have won the competition for the right to develop a software product for MERCEDES ME CAFÉ, due to the company’s expertise in bringing interactive solutions in Entertainment and Media industry and by developing unique user experience.
Interactive Café’s Infrastructure
- Two main requirements had to be taken into account during the development of the logic. Those were the opportunity to order meals and drinks from the menu and to interact with the multimedia marketing materials. Every order, placed in the system, is uploaded to the working terminals of the Café, where the personnel can later process it.
- Sensor displays of the Café are connected in a single network and have access to the Internet. This allows visitors to surf the web and social networks, launch applications, pay the bills, interact with other screens of the Café and view multimedia content on large touchscreens.
- The program shell for the touchscreens in MERCEDES ME CAFÉ had to be realized in the form of an isolated app for Microsoft Windows. Therefore, our developers’ work in this direction consisted in developing a program that could work in full-screen mode excluding user’s access to other applications and services of the operational system.
- Certain difficulty lied within the necessity of launching various apps inside the shell. As a result, our developers created a sort of operational system, which was launched inside Windows. It has its own browser, social networks and e-mail clients, other applications. The shell has an original interface, its control elements are optimized for screens of various sizes for the convenience of all the Café’s visitors.
Visual selection of the car’s
- Another challenge that later became our reason for pride was the system of visual selection of the car’s configuration, based on user’s appearance identification. With the help of a camera, the system evaluates the user’s age, sex, clothing style and color, hair color and many other details. Based on those data, a suggestion of a car and its configuration is formed, including the car’s body and interior colors. You can save the suggestion, share it on social media or modify it in a convenient constructor.
- The visitors of the Mercedes Me Café liked such an unconventional approach: almost 25% of them signed up for a test-drive of a Mercedes car, identical to the program’s suggestion. This was facilitated by the function of dynamic video creation based on the choice. It allows the customer to watch a high-quality video about the car in the set colors.
- One of the peculiarities of the touchscreens at the Mercedes Me Café is the possibility to play one of the five preinstalled games, branded in the Mercedes-Benz style. They include air hockey, racing, logic games, etc. Some of the games allow two people to play on the same screen.
- The chosen games were developed and released by third-party developers before the work on the Mercedes Me Café started. But still they had to be launched inside the program shell without any visible participation of Microsoft Windows. By default, after exiting the game you would return to the Windows interface, not the Café. To escape this constraint, our specialists adapted the code and integrated it in the interactive shell. This allowed the games to be launched directly from the Mercedes Me Café program and return to it after the end of the session.
- The program shell created by Andersen specialists became a crucial part of the Mercedes Me Café. Judging by numerous reviews, the customers liked large touchscreens and the opportunities they provide. Marketing materials, visual selection of configurations and games perfectly suited the Café, setting its high-tech atmosphere.
- Mercedes Me Café became an effective instrument of attracting new customers to Mercedes-Benz in Russia. It managed to direct the potential customers to the car dealer’s showrooms, regardless of the absence of the cars from the Café’s territory. The Moscow Café was such a success for the brand that similar Cafés appeared in Hamburg and Beijing.
Statistics after the first 6 months of the Café’s work look the following way:
Chairman of the Board of Directors
The idea of Mercedes Me Café was seen as too bold from the very beginning. None of us had ever done anything like that, we couldn’t tell if our idea could be a success. But we decided to take a risk, because the idea was great! You know, when everything worked out, we had a huge sense of relief. Relief and understanding what serious work we had done. The guys from Andersen surely did a great job.