Umparken Im Kopf

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The Opel masterbrand has been suffering for well over a decade. Year-on-year the brand’s reputation and market share seem to loose footing to other competitors, like VW, Ford and now Hyundai. However, Opel products are often ranked above the competition. It became clear that the product strategy and the product communications were being held back by a weak masterbrand – damaged by years of perceived GM neglect, factory closing and other bad PR.

So if people in the German-speaking world loved the tangible products and hate the intangible master brand, Carat needed make them aware that they were in essence ‘judging a book by its cover’ – they had an innate prejudice that needed to be destroyed. It knew that if it could help people see their preconceived ideas, they would ‘rethink’ or ‘repark’ the way they viewed Opel.

Thus, the agency decided to not focus media money on a car-centric campaign – which is typical in this industry –but instead use carline budgets to invest in the masterbrand.

The hypothesis was that if it could fix the masterbrand from blocking people’s opinions, they will consider Opel again. From this insight came the idea ‘Umpaken Im Kopf’ or ‘Repark your Mind’.


Carat’s idea was to have a teaser campaign with reach and more than one impression per person. It wanted to really overwhelm the public with a campaign that could not help but go viral, and wanted to do this without ever mentioning the Opel brand itself. The agency decided to use large iconic out-of-home, digital, mobile, daily print, takeovers, TV and celebrity endorsement in a campaign with a humorous tone.

For 10 days the public was teased with humorous and thought-provoking statements challenging them to ‘repark their minds’. It used concepts such as: “Did you know 18% of German-speaking people hate olives, yet only 60% of them have actually tasted an olive? – repark your mind”. This type of challenging, tongue-in-cheek communication was pushed for 10 days with a Twitter handle and microsite #umparkenimkopf, followed by a reveal.

All placements were changed with the same iconic look, and a simple phrase “Is Opel not so different? – repark your mind”. The idea was to point out the prejudices people held against Opel products by highlighting out humorous prejudices in other light-hearted areas. This activity was underpinned by celebrity testimonials about their first impressions of Opel and then their impressions after driving the vehicles.


The tease period across iconic out-of-home spots and digital ran for ten days before a reveal period saw Opel statements added to the communication, all in a somewhat unbranded look and feel.

A microsite was used to gather and display social chatter between consumers and with Opel Leadership. The Opel CEO and CMO were actively involved in the conversation with consumers – responding, and commenting.

An iconic video spot with celebrities was used to help add gravitas as these well-known people admitted their own pre-conceived ideas and ‘aha’ moments with Opel. Digital and mobile targeting combined with the Twitter handle and Facebook presence increased the social conversation over the life of the 30-day campaign. And in order to keep the conversation relevant and moving forward, a multi-agency ‘buzz room’ was set up to monitor and respond to social sentiment. This team still operates to this day as we look at ‘Umparken 2.0’.


Opel has increased market share for the first time in many, many years. And Opel is anticipated to turn a profit in 2014 – for the first time in 14 years! Brand Momentum scores are up. Brand for me scores are up. And there is a 6-month waiting list for the popular Mokka SUV.

The only challenge is that the public adored it and wants more. Carat is currently working on the next iteration of ‘Umparken’.

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Brand Owner:
General Motors
March - April 2014
Media Channel:

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