Vauxhall showcases ‘distinct new’ brand look in Corsa campaign

Vauxhall is using the launch of the refreshed version of its popular Corsa model to push a “distinct new look” for Vauxhall that illustrates it as a “busy, British, young at heart brand”.

The “A to Z of Corsa” campaign aims to illustrate British life showing scenes from boxers, crickets and dogs to roundabouts and tea across locations including Liverpool, Manchester and London. The car marque’s newly appointed director of brand marketing, Chris Hawken, says it aims to push a sense of Britishness, fun and energy and signals a bolder brand direction for the car marque.

The campaign, created by Vauxhall’s new agency 101, will be rolled out across TV, outdoor, print, CRM, social and PR and aims to raise interest, awareness and consideration of the Vauxhall Corsa. It is the start of work that will ramp up in the second quarter aimed at repositioning the Vauxhall brand.

Hawken says: “The ‘A to Z of Corsa’ heralds a distinct new look for Vauxhall and offers us the chance to create something that celebrates the energy and fun of Corsa in a nostalgic and distinctly British way. It supports our positioning of, ‘premium design and engineering affordable to all’ and acknowledges the freedom driving brings to all walks of life across the UK.”

The importance of Corsa

Neil King, automotive analyst at Euromonitor, says it makes sense for Vauxhall to kick off its brand refresh with the Corsa because it is one of the car marque’s most important models. Since the model’s launch in 1993 it has sold more than 1.8m Corsas.

According to data from JATO Dynamics, the Corsa accounted for 30.4% of Vauxhall’s sales in 2014 and has been its best seller for the past four years. However its share of the overall “B” segment fell to 11% last year, from a high of 17.7% in 2008.

“The Corsa is critical to the Vauxhall brand. The segment as a whole is rising in the UK but Vauxhall’s share over the past couple of years has dropped off. While there would be no point in investing in a diminishing segment sales are growing and Vauxhall can’t afford to stand still,” he says.

The Corsa model epitomises everything Vauxhall wants to be – more modern, funkier and with an appeal that stretches to a younger demographic, he adds.

The Vauxhall brand

Vauxhall has previously admitted that its brand needs investment, with managing director Tim Tozer telling The Telegraph that it hasn’t been “nurtured or developed”.

According to YouGov BrandIndex it sits at 15 in a list of 34 car marques in terms of its overall index performance (a measure of a range of metrics including quality, value and impress). In particular buzz (a measure of the positive and negative things said about a brand) is down by a statistically significant amount this year.

King says Vauxhall has not made much noise about the brand recently and that it needs a revamp to improve its standing among consumers. It has lost out as rivals, such as Volkswagen, Fiat and Ford have all communicated more effectively their points of difference and brand values.

“The others in the ‘squeezed middle’ have a lot of distinctive features. What differentiates Vauxhall? What does it stand for? The brand message still seems a bit conflicting,” he says.

Vauxhall is one of a number of brands looking to boost sales as the market returns to growth. Volvo recently announced plans to overhaul its marketing to focus more on digital and less on car shows as it repositions its brand to offer consumers a “cool, fun and premium” and more personalised experience.

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