Mercedes-Benz USA is using an electronic 'concierge' on the vehicle buyers research website Edmunds.com to introduce the new R-class crossover.

Unlike a lot of the advertising on similar UK websites, the Mercedes pitcher is not an obtrusive 'pop-up' - or one of those financial-speak pests that starts blathering through your speakers as soon as you open a page on Forbes' online edition - and must be activated by clicking on an ad alongside Edmunds' regular information page for the R-class.

The 'concierge' - on screen for under 30 seconds - doesn't provide a guided tour; instead 'he' points out how the Edmunds page can be used to get information on the new vehicle and local dealers, and offers a link to the official Mercedes website.

Using Sequential Animated Media (SAM) technology, the innovative application, which is said to be the first use of an over-the-page tour guide on a third- party website, was created by Critical Mass, Calgary Alberta, Canada which handles interactive marketing for Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA).

"The idea is to deliver information in a way that is both engaging to the viewer and utilises the innovative experiential communication that appeals to the tech-savvy buyer of our new R-Class," said Carol Goll, general manager, brand experience marketing for MBUSA.

The R-Class messaging content delivered to the viewer is tailored to his or her exact location on the site (New Car Category page, Luxury Category page, SUV Category page or Model Overview page) and on-site behaviour.

The online initiative complements a national advertising campaign that launched last week in spot markets across the country and will reach full schedule at the end of the month and into October as vehicles arrive at Mercedes-Benz dealerships nationwide.