Several high profile South African celebrities have been showing off their brand-new Mercedes-Benz wheels over the last few months, making one wonder if there was a sale the rest of South Africa was not aware of.
Fear not, fellow South Africans, you didn’t miss out on any big sales. The famous faces you’ve been seeing showing off their hot new wheels are called ‘Friends of the Brand’.
Mercedes-Benz South Africa welcomed Grammy award-winning recording artist Zakes Bantwini to the ‘Friends of the Brand’ programme at a glitzy event that took place last week Thursday.
“Zakes and I started our journey last year with the introduction of the all-new C-Class. I knew then that we would strike up a long-term partnership with many amazing collaborations to follow,” Alexandra Boavida, vice president of sales and marketing at Mercedes-Benz Cars South Africa, said as he welcomed Zakes to the Mercedes-Benz family.
Zakes will be spending the next 12 months behind the wheel of the AMG EQS 53, Mercedes-EQ’s flagship electric car offered locally.
“Growing up in the ghetto, everyone dreams of one day driving a Mercedes-Benz. Every car that you drive along the way is just a steppingstone to one day having the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a Benz.
“It’s, therefore, an honour to have joined the family and to have the opportunity to enjoy this incredible car over the next 12 months. Thank you to the brilliant team at Mercedes-Benz for welcoming me so warmly; I can’t wait to see what we can do together with this partnership,” Bantwini said when his new ride was unveiled.
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Other celebs who are part of the Mercedes-Benz family
Not all ‘The Friends of the Brand’ get to drive the same car. Speaking to The Citizen, Media MBC sales and marketing specialist, Terence Steenkamp, said Zakes will be the only ‘Friend of the Brand’ to drive the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53.
Steenkamp also shared a list of other high-profile personalities who are ‘Friends of the Brand’ and the Mercedes Benz model each celebrity drives.
- Eben Etzebeth: GLE
- Anlia Etzebeth: GLC
- David Higgs: GLE
- Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen: GLE
- Nandi Madida: GLE
- Makazole Mapimpi: AMG C 43
- Lukhanyo Am: AMG C 43
- Siya Kolisi: G-Class
- Rachel Kolisi: GLE
How do you become a ‘Friend of the Brand’?
If you want to drive a Mercedes-Benz free for a year, you need to be a high-profile personality with a substantial following that will allow you to generate positive interest for the brand.
“The long-running Friends of the Brand programme connects Mercedes-Benz South Africa with brand ambassadors who are motivating pioneers, explorers and go-getters, much like the brand itself. Often, they’ve overcome barriers and, in the process, have set new standards in their field. The Friends of the Brand use their abilities to achieve enduring success in diverse projects,” the statement explained.