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Limousines? That's so last millennium. These days the pampered and rich in the know get chauffeured around in the back of pimped-out vans. Sure, they may look utilitarian on the outside, but inside, they're as luxe as a private jet. Mercedes-Benz has been at the forefront of the scene with its much-modified Sprinter vans, but that's not the only big box in its portfolio. And to drive that point home, the German automaker has just rolled in to Beijing with this tricked-out Viano.

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It's quite apparent that technology, in addition to helping us avoid advertising (thank you, DVR), has simultaneously enabled much more of it, and in many more places. And when used properly, technology has made some ads a lot more interesting.

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There was a time when "land yacht" was not a nice thing to say about a Buick Riviera car, but these days it seems de rigueur. Range Rover has brought in naval architects to take on their sport-ute, Rolls-Royce uses teak decking on its Phantom DHC, Audi's gone out to see with the Q7 Coastline concept, even Volvo has given its wagons the Ocean Race theme. Now Mercedes-Benz is following the same lead with its latest show car, er...van.

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