Opel has reveald guerrilla marketing and attitude as the key elements of an innovative through-the-line campaign used to position its new Corsa with trendy, urban 20-30 year-old Europeans.
The twenty-something market is defined and controlled by the individual. Today’s twentysomethings regard the products they purchase as extensions of their own personalities – they mix and match brands to create their own individualistic, distinctive look. Credibiltiy and Authenticity are key factors that any brand needs to consider when communicating with this target.
Opel’s strategy in marketing the new Corsa was to give the car a clearly identifiable twentysomething (male and female) appeal that is spirited, dynamic and fun, positioning the car as a “must have” for this target audience.
‘“Fun, stylish, simply cool!”: these are the key attributes of the new Corsa’, said Alain Visser, Executive Director European Opel/Vauxhall Marketing, adding: “to make sure we remain faithful to those brand values and to make sure twenty-something Eurbanites could relate to the car saw us deviate from the polished ‘bells and whistles’ mainstream campaigns normally used to launch new models.”
To accomplish its positioning objectives, Opel devised a communications campaign that is authentic, unique, fresh, sympathetic and energetic – with a dash of unconventional humor, to help launch the new Corsa throughout Europe.
Opel first enlisted one of the most renowned – German urban artist known for subversive underground art – to create five characters that reflect the spirit and youthful zest of the new Opel Corsa. Playing on his previous works Hoppek created the C.M.O.N.S., five funky puppets, each with its own unique identity and history, reflecting various psychographic profiles of today’s twentysomethings. Best friends and together members of The C.M.O.N.S band, White, Moo, Blue, Red, and Cherri came to life in the hip urban underground scene of Barcelona. Just before the C.M.O.N.S. began covertly infiltrating the public domain the new Opel Corsa was launched to the automotive trade press at a chic premiere on July 17th at the London Motor Show.
The first phase of the communications campaign ran saw the roll-out of pan-European guerrilla marketing & PR tactics to create credibility for and generate buzz around the C.M.O.N.S. Over the summer months the C.M.O.N.S invaded the Eurbanites’ world in many unconventional ways.
A non-branded micro-site as the central hub for all pan Europen viral communications kicked-off the tease phase, flagged by a viral seeding campaign, soon to be followed by stickering that saw the C.M.O.N.S appear on everything from traffic-lights to construction site barricades; C.M.O.N.S posters and jetwash murals (positive grafitti), under bridges, in alleyways and on derelict buildings in cities throughout Europe; Content placement on user generated content portals and communities like, Myspace.com or YouTube.com added to the credibility of the characters, while C.M.O.N.S boomerang cards were found in every trendy restaurant, bar and nightclub from Paris to Berlin, and the characters themselves began to pop up at major European summer festivals, such as Lovelands in The Netherlands and even ended up on consumers mobile devices and PC with C.M.O.N.S. mobile and MSN Messenger theme packs
Neither were the media spared: journalists from key hip lifestyle press across Europe found mysterious C.M.O.N.S packages awaiting them on their desks – Cherri baskets; Blue-branded boxers; Moo boxes, and rust-coloured scarves from Red. Press releases presenting the C.M.O.N.S. were simultaneously sent to journalists to add on to these guerrilla activities.
The pan-European PR campaign was complemented by C.M.O.N.S. radio competitions in Germany, France and Spain, as well as online collaborations and communication in all markets. Media and the public were directed to the C.M.O.N.S.’ website where each of the characters had their own Blog, virals of Blue and Red hit the web, and an online C.M.O.N.S. competition in Italy offered two top prizes of four tickets to attend the MTV Bologna Day on 16 September.
MTV was a key strategic partner for Opel in reaching the target audience. MTV Under The Radar, created by MTVNI Creative, is a ‘rockumentary’ that charts the career of The C.M.O.N.S. a renowned puppet rock band. Through the ‘rockumentary,’ viewers have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the band to learn more about their personalities and the often scandalous events that surround their showbiz lifestyle.
The series, which includes four one minute programme vignettes plus a teaser campaign, uncovers intriguing secrets about The C.M.O.N.S. through interviews with various live action characters who worked with the band, including a plastic surgeon, groupie, music manager, strip club owner and the lead singer’s girlfriend. The MTV campaign was complemented by an official MTV.
The microsite features artist biographies, paparazzi shots, photo gallery, music, discography, the viral campaign and downloadable wallpapers. The website is also supported by an official The C.M.O.N.S band site.
Other assets produced for the band include album covers, magazine covers and behind the scenes photography with the band. Additionally, eight rock tracks were commissioned for the series and written and produced by ‘The Outcomes,’ a real band who sing the actual the songs performed by The C.M.O.N.S.
The partnership is topped of with Opel being on of the main sponsors of the 2006 MTV European Music Awards on November 2nd , 2006 in Copenhagen. Making the new Corsa the official wheels of the event and creating the basis for a Pan European consumer promotion to take place in October 2006.
The link between the C.M.O.N.S. and Opel was progressively revealed towards the end of September, at different times in each of the key European markets. A high-profile above-the-line campaign featuring the C.M.O.N.S. will kick off throughout the seven key European markets. The campaign will introduce the new Opel Corsa to a wider mainstream public, with whom Opel will use the launch of the new Corsa to initiate an important shift for Opel.