Mercedes-Benz Swim, Miami’s annual fashion week in partnership with IMG, kicked off on the steamy shores of South Beach last Thursday, bringing together the fashion elite, the press and trend-setting denizens from around the globe. The event’s presence in the city is on the rise, as satellite events and fashion shows have sprung up all over SoBe, not just at The Raleigh, where the main runways are located. With its widening reach and scope, Mercedes-Benz Swim stands poised to have a similar impact on nightlife as the Winter Music Conference, widely believed to be a category leader in events for the market.
It’s no surprise that after the packed tents at The Raleigh empty each night, the crowd disperses to any number of Miami’s nightlife venues, which is just the way Mercedes-Benz likes it. “Nightlife is a lynchpin of the whole scene at MB Swim,” says Adam Paige, department manager, brand lifestyles PR for Mercedes-Benz USA. “People here want to work hard during the day and play even harder at night. It’s a great place to network for both us and the attendees.”
Reaching the nightlife audience is considered a marketing component for the luxury carmaker. “The owners and managers of the clubs and nightlife spots here are in the know; they’re influencers,” Paige explains. “South Florida is a huge market for Mercedes-Benz so to work with and utilize these trendsetters who are tapped directly into one of our target audiences is greatly beneficial for us.”
The response from an initiative like MB Swim isn’t as linear as traditional marketing plans that use nightclubs as an ancillary marketing tool. “We look at the general buzz factor as a metric for success,” Paige says. “We’re not going to sell cars as an immediate result of the week, so we look at things like press impressions, like when you hear about which celebrities were partying at Wall at the W Hotel during a MB Swim designer party.” Associating with the events and building off the positive coverage is the mark of victory for the company.
Miami’s night scene also affords a way for the car manufacturer to give back to top dealers and MB’s VIP clients. “We’ll make sure our people are connected so they can entertain with a table at a club like LIV or Louis,” Paige says. “It’s important that they’re out making new connections and reestablishing old ones.” And that could mean big business, this week and in the future, for Miami clubs able to make a connection with Mercedes-Benz.