Opel’s bid to throw away its sluggish image in Germany is finally working, so says marketing chief Tina Mueller. No thanks to bad publicity brought by job cuts and the shutdown of its Bochum site, Opel has seen its brand image dive down. But Opel is now capturing back the hearts of German consumers thanks to a major marketing campaign as well as new models like the Adam minicar and Mokka SUV.
She remarked that while bad publicity over job cuts failed to affect the brand in other markets in Europe, owning an Opel car in Germany had become a social stigma. She also partly attributed the growing dislike for Opel vehicles to an aging product lineup in the past.
She remarked that the Opel brand became “an invisible wall in the heads of customers,” with people saying that while the car is super, they wouldn’t drive an Opel. To patch up Opel’s tattered brand image, Mueller launched a marketing campaign called “Umparken im Kopf,” which roughly means “change parking spots in your head.”
The campaign initially did not mention Opel and only aimed to generate interest by challenging preconceived notions and prejudices. Later, Open Opel took credit for the campaign and started using it as a slogan to position itself as a challenger to the status quo.
In fact, its Insignia advertising was considered a success although initial spots did not mention the model at all. Opel also tapped Juergen Klopp, trainer of football club Borussia Dortmund, as a brand ambassador.
He appeared in one of the spots for the Insignia, in which an airline stewardess found a set of dropped Opel keys near the division between the business class and the economy class.
She then assumed that the keys belong to an economy passenger, but was so surprised when Klopp came from behind the business class curtain to claim them. Muelller said that they managed to post a 35-percent jump in sales of the Insignias since relaunch.