Jon Rafman 9 eyes - A google streetview art project.


Opel account: Changing lane rather than change?


Yesterday, Germany’s most important account news of the fading year 2010 went public. The Opel car account moved from McCann Erickson to Scholz & Friends.


Something for Ruber Iglesias, Sean Condon, Marc Landsberg and Oren Frank to take a licking at.


My girlfriend rolled her eyes when she first heard the new incumbents name: “You have been saying for quite a while that McCann is losing Opel, the new name then sounds dated and so 1990!”


I fondly remember a brilliant and bold presentation, two fine Opel strategists gave back in 2005 on the premises in Rüsselsheim, home of one of the most important German grassroot auto brands. Opel’s aim was to signal the race to be on for fresh ideas in the automotive industry. I also recall that the call encountered deaf ears with classic creatives and their administtration at McCann.

The call to weapons however was welcomed with enthusiasm on behalf of MRM [Zentropy], the IPG digital marketing agency, member of the worldgoup roster. As their chief creative back then, I reacted with an ever more stringend focus on utility and application developement, stealing user interface designs from Apple’s tested and tried practices.


Stealing ideas had long become a straight forward practice, increasing efficiency plus utility and resulting in greater tempo with creatives and administrators.

Germany is testing Opel

Germany is testing Opel
hp sample from opel.xx design study

I’d like to believe that the decision for Michael Hartwig, executive director brand marketing at Opel/Vauxhall was weighed on Scholz & Friends extensive network with local dependencies across Europe, resembling the prowess of network capabilities McCann Erickson has shared with Opel for the past 81 years.


This must have weighed as much or perhaps more than the demonstrated in depth understanding of Opel and their loyal followers by Scholz & Friends.

On a shallow dive, did not all car manufacturers try to get a share of each market segment by developing a car for each class rather than concentrating on their individual brand personalities and inherent strengths?


Back then Opel designers and engineers developed the universal, recognizable characteristics that signal ‘I am Opel’ across all carlines.


Today these German engineers are reconsidering and coming to terms with their grassroot heritage of democratisizing German quality engineering and bringing that quality to the mass markets.


The focus is back on small, affordable European cars with the smallest possible carbon footprint and high efficiency. The Corsa for the post digital age.


Opel in the new world

Change would require a strong signal such as boldly moving the account away from old world agencies and their pre digital realm toward new agencies who aren’t ad agencies anymore and live in the post digital age. VCCP comes to mind, London based we are social. Tequilla, Mother, Naked… Imagine the classic account to be with MRM worldwide




Back to the future: Opel.xx for iPad and Android


Saturday, Oktober 21, 2006


A Design Study with ‘fresh thinking’ written all over it approaches the European market.


Back then us MRM creatives did not know about the arrival of the iPad.
Today I just happen to know what a magical experience opel.xx holds in place for all you iPad users out there.


opel.xx for iPad and Android

Developed in HTML 5 rather than flash. A world class use case demonstrating Opel’s arrival in the new world.

Automotive sites and most brand sites for that matter resort to costly microsites when it comes to campaigning their products. I mean to change that and provide for a life changing experience under the popular central address of one such car manufacturer across all of Europe.


Get the presentation decks here.


3 applications make for a dangerously curious combination:

  • Catwalk: A fun and innovative product launcher.
  • Brand Street: Encapsulated campaign world at every touchpoint
  • Sidewalk: Continuously creating new relevance through headline news and innovations, the sidewalk consists of billboards driving the message home of “fresh thinking for better cars”.