Opel, which is in the midst of returning to profitability, is so far succeeding in improving its image in the minds of consumers. Opel marketing chief Tina Mueller told Automotive News new marketing techniques and improved products have resulted in good publicity for the brand in its home market of Germany.
Last year, Opel’s image was damaged in Germany over job losses and the closure of its Bochum plant. An aging product lineup also sparked negative feelings toward the brand, so much so that owning an Opel had become a social stigma, Mueller said. Now, quirky and creative marketing campaigns and products like the Adam and Mokka have resulted in improved public perception.
One of Mueller’s first ventures as Opel CMO was fixing the brand’s image through a marketing campaign called “Umparken im Kopf,” which translates to “change parking spots in your head.” The ads had no association with Opel, which challenged viewers’ notions and perceptions when the brand later took credit for them.
One of these ads featured German soccer trainer Juergen Klopp. An air stewardess finds a dropped pair of Opel keys and, stereotyping, looks for the owner in economy class, but is later surprised to find out they belong to Klopp. Mueller said they sold “35 percent more Insignias,” since the marketing re-launch.
Mueller acknowledges the company still has a “way to go” but with sales up 6 percent in Germany to 185,740 units in the first ten months of 2014, she says the brand is “confident” it’s moving in the right direction.