TODAY | February 02, 2013
>>> a mercedes benz is hard to upstage, but model kate upton may have done it.
>> you missed a spot.
>> the ad has been viewed more than seven million times on youtube. but is it too sex? kate upton and steve cannon , president and ceo of mercedes benz , join us from new orleans. good morning to both of you. thanks for coming on.
>> good morning.
>> good morning.
>> so kate , you've heard the criticism, the parents television council says it's too sexy, objectifying women. maybe the issue isn't that it's too sexy, but that it's too inappropriate. give me your take on that.
>> i don't see how it's inappropriate because i'm not even actually washing the car.
>> i mean, is it something you're proud of?
>> yes, of course i'm proud of it. i'm -- i'm proud of being a part of the brand. it's such an amazing brand. and it's a symbol of luxury, and now they have this new, beautiful car, the cla, that's affordable and sexy for a younger generation.
>> i can see why they hired you as a pitch person. but perfectly there. steve, let me ask you -- i think any company would die for the buzz that this ad is creating. but i don't necessarily know that you like the controversy part of it. give us your thoughts.
>> it's certainly created conversation, and conversation is good. we think this is absolutely inbounds. we're trying not to take ourselves too seriously. we wanted to have a little bit of fun. and we think we did that with this spot. it's actually not our advertising spot for the super bowl . we got a big spot that's coming tomorrow. this was just a viral video to create conversation. and with seven million hits, we were happy that kate upstaged the mercedes. it's been a great -- a great impact.
>> no one can upstage this car.
>> you've got a lot of impact there. have you ever, steve, seen one of those commercials that's so good and so funny and so interesting that you forget what the product is? are you at all concerned that kate has upstaged your car?
>> not worried about it at all. mercedes-benz is a strong brand. kate 's a strong brand, too. at the end of the day , we think that getting noticed, having conversation before the super bowl , pushing the battlegrounderibattlegrounoundaries of our brand, we're trying to reach out to a new generation with the cla. we think this does all of it.
>> i notice that you don't actually wash the car in this ad. do you even own a car?
>> i don't. i live in new york city . and so i don't own a car. if i did, i'd definitely want the cla. and it's funny, when i first read the script, i was like i -- i really wouldn't be washing my car, so --
>> are we going to see something similar of you in the actual ad, or is it a totally different ad?
>> no. the sad totally different which is where i think the video got so much attention. people naught that it was the leaked -- people thought that it was the leaked commercial. really the commercial is completely different.
>> we'll end it there. kate upton , steve cannon , thanks for getting up early with us. i hope you goat enjoy the game tomorrow.