Later this year, Vauxhall will be launching its Cascada, a full-size convertible, and in a piece of very clever marketing the car manufacturer took advantage of the postponement of England’s World Cup qualifying fixture against Poland.
The game was delayed for 24 hours due not only to torrential rain flooding the pitch in Warsaw but also because the Polish authorities failed to close the roof on the stadium in time to allow the game to go ahead.
As England’s lead sponsor, Vauxhall had LED screen advertising around the pitch perimeter during the game, and they took advantage of this to release a new advertisement that read: “The Cascada – A roof that can close in 19 seconds” to advertise their new car’s fabric roof.
The advert was mentioned on the BBC Sport website during text commentary and got a lot of prominence during the match. The advert was certainly better than the England team’s performance on the night!
Vauxhall Marketing Director Peter Hope was delighted with the coverage, and with the speed at which the idea was created and implemented: “We always like to be proactive and tie together our car launches with our football sponsorship portfolio. This is a light-hearted campaign in which we can extol the virtues of the Cascada to a television audience of millions."
Top stuff, Vauxhall; but does the car back up all this effort?
Vauxhall seem to think so as they are aiming to “revitalise the full-size convertible segment” of the car market.
Vauxhall have had a busy year already having launched the Ampera, Mokka and ADAM models but with the Cascada, a full four-seat, fabric-roof convertible which at nearly 4.7 metres in length, they are aiming for a spot in a sector that they haven’t been anywhere near since the 1930s.
Along with its 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, the first outing of Vauxhall’s MGE (Mid-Size Gasoline Engine) family, the high-quality fabric hood has been produced with weather-hardened UK buyers in mind – hence the speed of installation and ‘deflation’.
“Most convertibles look good with the top down, but many seem clumsy with their roof up,” said Malcom Ward, Vauxhall’s British Director of Exterior Design. “Thanks to its high quality, aerodynamically clean soft top with a perfect, seamless profile, the Cascada cuts a fine figure when it’s closed.”
Basically that means it will look just as good on a wet and windy day in The Lakes as in the Cote d’Azure sunshine.
“Cascada is set to change people’s perception of Vauxhall once again,” said Duncan Aldred, Vauxhall’s Chairman and Managing Director. “The full-size convertible sector tends only to be occupied by very high-priced cars from premium manufacturers. With Cascada, we’re offering customers high levels of equipment, technology and luxury but at an affordable price.”
It's a shame Ehgland don't play with that confidence.