Spoof Mercedes ad goes back in time to kill Hitler

What might happen if technology had a soul?


Audra Schroeder

Internet Culture

Published Aug 23, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 8:22 am CDT

For a film school project, German students Jan Mettler, Lydia Lohse, and Tobias Haase created a faux Mercedes-Benz ad, highlighting the automaker’s new collision prevention assist system, which detects a potential collision before it happens, and alerts the driver.

They took the clip one step further, though, by expanding on the eternal question, “If you could go back in time, who would you kill?”

The short opens in a small, fog-covered village. A date is never given, but we get the sense that it’s the early 20th century, even though a brand-new Mercedes is shown driving through the village streets. We see a young boy flying a kite. We see the car accelerating. We see the car hit that young boy, and then his mother screams, “Adolf!”

MCP from dath – Tobias Haase on Vimeo.

The short’s kicker, “detect dangers before they come up,” points out that yes, that Mercedes driver ran over Adolf Hitler. They added a disclaimer at the beginning, claiming no affiliation with Mercedes-Benz or Daimler AG. They simply wanted to find out “what might happen if technology had a soul.” Mercedes has not commented on the clip yet.

To make this ad even more meta, Hitler was apparently fond of Mercedes.  

Screengrab via Tobias Haase/Vimeo

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*First Published: Aug 23, 2013, 12:43 pm CDT