2015 started with work on the launch of the Opel Adam, which is the ‘first shot’ in the German manufacturer’s (although it is owned by General Motors) repositioning of the brand, under the theme ‘New Germans’.
We (Project Fable) were involved in hosting and developing the content for the partner, consumer and media/entertainment launches of the Adam. Being of German roots, there was a kind of synergy to being involved as well as with Opel’s reconnection with its German engineering heritage.
As part of hosting the various events, I explored Opel’s context within the South African landscape and my experience with it (below are my notes):
Context is a fascinating thing. When I was chatting to the people at Opel, they talked about the historical challenges that they have faced particularly during South Africa’s dark years, none of which was actually on my radar. All I remember was visiting a friend’s home in the township in Joburg and discovering her father had a black Opel Kadettt 2,0 GSI 16V S, more affectionately known as The Superboss. After much negotiation, she started it up for us just so we could rev it and see the digital speedometer.
And my first trip to Cape Town, driving from Lesotho, was in an Opel Astra 200t S. Because the two other drivers had consumed a case of Black Label by the time we hit Bloemfontein, I ended up driving most of the way, leaving Bloemfontein at midnight. Ah, to be young, dumb and not have to worry about petrol or speed traps.
German cars have always held a particular place in the motoring world, which is probably tied to the stereotype about Germans as being about precision, effectiveness and craft. This is rooted in an element of truth when you look at the continued focus on vocational training and the idea of the ‘master craftsman’.
Amidst this, as the country has evolved, there has been a shift with this focus on craftsmanship as the foundation. From media – with Germans still supportive of magazine and book publishing, to design, fashion, etc. Germany is home to what is considered by some to be Europe’s creative hub – Berlin.
The Adam competes with cars like the Audi A1, the Mini, Citroen 3DS and the Fiat 500 and is a nice little drive. It comes in standard Adam, Glam and Jam. An aspect that has been developed to set it apart is the level of customisation, which includes: 9 exterior colours, 3 roof colours, 5 wheel options, 5 trim options, 8 interior panels, 4 logo bars, 3 rear view mirrors, 3 side mirrors, 6 wheel clips, sports pedals and 8 decal options.
From a technology perspective, they’ve also crammed a number of features that one would traditionally expect in a larger sedan, including the 7” high-def LCD touch screen IntelliLink infortainment system that connects to your smartphone, a Start/Stop system, Side Blind Zone Alert, Hill Start Assist and Park Assist.
In terms of pricing, the standard Adam starts at R189,900. For full details on what comes with the different derivatives, check here: ADAM
The Adam out-sold its competitors, for the month of February, which was its first full month of sales. What will be interesting to see will be, as the year progresses, the energy around the vehicle because we create communities around brands and products. With so much choice in every aspect of our lives, we buy into the aesthetic and professed principles. We become brand evangelists based on how they tie into how we perceive ourselves and how we want to be perceived. This is the area that I am drawn to working with content. How does one use content to build those communities? What are people looking for from brands?