Mercedes-Benz USA Previews Its New M-Class on DISH Network


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- Satellite TV Subscribers Are First to See, Experience, Experiment With All New M-Class -

MONTVALE, N.J., March 16 -- Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) is giving the 10 million interactive TV subscribers of EchoStar Communications Corporation's DISH Network satellite TV an advanced "all-access pass" to experience and experiment with the new generation M-Class through an innovative interactive advertising campaign beginning this week and running through March, 2005.

When it debuted in 1997, the M-Class created a new class of luxury sport utility vehicles combining the best attributes of passenger car ride and drive characteristics, SUV capability and renowned Mercedes-Benz safety technology. The much-anticipated new generation 2006 M-Class -- more powerful, roomier, more fuel-efficient and with aggressive styling and a new level of passenger-car-like driving dynamics -- will go on sale at the end of March.

The DISH Network collaboration is the first component in an extensive marketing launch for the all new M-Class. The comprehensive pre-launch campaign consists of a 30-second TV spot "Blank Page" that links viewers via an on-screen pop-up message, or trigger, to an interactive web-like environment on the TV. From this interactive TV channel, viewers can simply use their TV remote to preview an expanded version of a TV advertisement called "Test Track," detailing the versatility and capability of the new M-Class, which will air on a DISH Network shopping channel, Catalog. Viewers can also access a photo gallery, order brochures and learn about the new Mercedes-Benz M-Class through advance interactive TV advertising, developed by DISH Network and Turner Media Group and built by interactive TV veteran OpenTV Corp.

In a unique application aimed at seamlessly integrating traditional advertising with online and experiential programs, DISH Network viewers will also be provided information on the 35-city ride-and-drive Road Rally and invited to attend their local event, starting in April.

"With this interactive marketing campaign, Mercedes-Benz is taking advantage of emerging platforms to reach the right people with the right messages," said Michelle Cervantez, vice president of marketing for Mercedes-Benz USA. "Customers and potential customers can interact with and learn about the brand from the comfort of their own home, and we provide them with the opportunity to engage in future dialogue with MBUSA. Equally important, it reflects the personality of the new M-Class in terms of innovation combined with distinct personal appeal."

"Mercedes-Benz is taking advantage of a powerful tool in reaching home viewers who want to explore the Mercedes-Benz M-Class beyond a standard 30-second commercial," said Susan Arnold, vice president of programming for DISH Network. "No other automaker has developed or provided this depth of information for a model launch via interactive television."

About Mercedes-Benz USA

Mercedes-Benz USA, headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, is responsible for the sales, marketing and service of all Mercedes-Benz and Maybach products in the United States. In 2004, MBUSA achieved an all-time sales record of 221,610 new vehicles, setting the highest sales volume ever in its history and achieving 11 consecutive years of sales growth. More information on MBUSA and its products can be found on the Internet at http://www.mbusa.com/.

About EchoStar

EchoStar Communications Corporation serves more than 11 million satellite TV customers through its DISH Network(TM), the fastest growing U.S. provider of advanced digital television services in the last four years. DISH Network offers hundreds of video and audio channels, Interactive TV, HDTV, sports and international programming, together with professional installation and 24-hour customer service. DISH Network ranks No. 1 in Customer Satisfaction among Cable/Satellite TV Subscribers by J.D. Power and Associates. Google EchoStar's DISH Network

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