'Maleficent' Director Helms Mercedes-Benz Super Bowl Spot (Video)

Courtesy of Mercedes

The 30-second spot from the two-time Academy Award winner is a parable of the 'Tortoise and the Hare' fable.

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its Super Bowl XLIX spot, an homage to Aesop's classic The Tortoise and the Hare — except in this version, the Tortoise ditches his "slow and steady" strategy and instead pilots the new Mercedes AMG GT sports coupe to trounce the Hare.

Directed by Robert Stromberg, who helmed last year's Maleficent, a live-action retelling of Disney's 1959 animated classic Sleeping Beauty, and who won Academy Awards for best art direction for Avatar and Alice in Wonderland, the 30-second spot's movie-level visual effects contrast with rival BMW's "Newfangled Idea," a low-key pitch for BMW's i3 electric car. That spot features Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel parodying their clueless attempt to explain the Internet on the Today show in 1994.

Car advertisers for Super Bowl XLIX are down nearly 50 percent from last year's game — only six auto manufacturers, including Mercedes rivals BMW and Lexus, are participating, partly due to advertising rates of $4.5 million for a 30-second spot.

The Super Bowl airs Sunday, Feb. 1, on NBC.

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