We bet you didn't expect to see Ludacris, Wile E. Coyote, and Lassie in one Super Bowl ad.
The Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan and the voice recognition from its MBUX infotainment system are the stars of the German automaker's 2019 Super Bowl commercial. The company calls the spot "Say the Word," and it takes vocal commands to an absurd level. Look for the ad during the second quarter of the game.
The ad stars a guy who realizes that whatever he says actually happens. Mercedes packs the ad with some very eclectic cameos. Rapper Ludacris transforms an opera into hip hop concert; PGA golfer Rickie Fowler sinks a difficult putt, and the famous whale from Free Willy finds his freedom.
Mercedes MBUX tech combines voice recognition and artificial intelligence. Saying "Hey Mercedes" prompts the system to start listening, and the person can make a request. Unfortunately, it can't respond to things like calling in a rescue from Lassie or bringing Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner into the real world like in this ad. In reality, the tech can free up your hands by making cabin temperature adjustments, changing the media that's playing, or altering the cabin lighting.
The A-Class sedan is Mercedes' new entry-level model in the United States. Prices start at $32,500 (plus $995 destination) for the front-drive A220 or $34,500 for the all-wheel-drive version. Both variants pack a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 188 horsepower (140 kilowatts) and 221 pound-feet (299 Newton-meters). The only gearbox choice is a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The four-door A-Class comes standard with LED headlights, panoramic sunroof, and dual-zone climate control. The regular dashboard layout includes a pair of seven-inch displays for the instruments and infotainment system, but a set of 10.25-inch screens is an option.
Later, the sporty A35 version will join the range with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine producing 302 hp (225 kW) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) and running to both axles through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. In the A-Class hatchback, this setup propels the vehicle to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in 4.7 seconds.
Source: Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-Benz USA via YouTube