There's nothing that generates more goodwill than finding a parking spot. The folks at Mercedes-Benz tapped that universal thought and integrated a social media function with its Park Assist feature. It's called Tweet Fleet.
The company launched the "Tweet Fleet" in it's hometown Stuttgart, Germany during the holiday season — a time when both goodwill and parking help are both in huge demand.
Special cars drove around the city recording the empty parking spaces and transmitting the GPS data to its dedicated Twitter account, @MBTweetFleet. All Benz owners had to do was access their Park Assist. It's an active voice command feature already integrated into their car that can be synched with Twitter. Twitter updated them on where the open spots where and convenient GPS instructions on where to find them.
The feature was part of an ad campaign launched at Christmas, but clearly the story has legs as media agencies and digital outlets are just now reporting on the story. The Twitter account does not appear to be currently active, nor are there any reports on whether an expansion of the project is expected.
I'm not a Mercedes-Benz owner, but I have to give props to the team that thought this idea up. Mercedes seem incredibly focused on incorporating technology into the driving experience — everything from integrating mobile devices and social media, todynamic control.
Whether it is intended to be an ongoing feature for the luxury brand or a one-time holiday marketing stunt, it is a clever idea. I love it when social media can be harnessed for something practical.
And parking in crowded cities is about as practical as it gets.
I'd say if Mercedes isn't continuing it, it's a million dollar idea for someone to run with.
Heed the cry — parking spaces for the rest of us!