The truck company that doesn’t build trucks

By Steve Cox | Group Creative Director

When Daimler Truck split from Mercedes-Benz earlier this year, it was news that surprised  both the automotive and trucking industries. Globally, Daimler Truck launched into their new future with an internal campaign called “We Embark” and celebrated with events at their locations all around the world.

But Daimler Truck North America wanted to do something more. They wanted to create a video to celebrate the occasion. Something that was unique to North America and a rallying point for their team.

They came to us with the request and a need to see scripts right away to meet the deadline of having a video produced by launch. Twenty-four hours later, we had several to share, and the first we presented was a concept we called “We Don’t Build Trucks.” It was built off the idea of focusing not on the literal products Daimler Truck creates and the jobs those products do, but on the benefits they deliver – building families, careers and opportunity. After presenting this first idea, the client said, “Let me stop you right there,” which was then followed with the unexpected “I don’t need to hear any more. This is it.”

Next all we had to do was get it done. Timing required the use of a lot of existing and stock footage, with one half day of shooting to capture DTNA headquarters. Getting a sunrise in Portland in the winter is as rare as (insert your favorite idiom here). The day of the shoot started cloudy and drizzly, and as we watched our phone clocks waiting for sunrise, the clouds parted just in time and just long enough to capture what we needed.

We then combined all the footage we’d gathered and matched it with voice over from the president of DTNA, John O’Leary. Everything came together quickly, just in time for launch.

The video resonated with all the teams internally, and the idea that DTNA doesn’t build trucks has been showing up in presentations and other campaigns throughout the company. Not bad for a day’s work. At least as far as the scripting went.