Opel Sells Station Wagons and Male Confidence With a Whole New Package

Courtesy of Opel

Opel skipped the standard TV commercial replete with slow-motion shots of drifting vehicles and scenic drives along the coast, or a curving mountain road, and opted instead for a more compelling series of images: men’s crotches.

The nearly 90-second ad aimed at selling more station wagons in Denmark is a string of slow-motion zoomed-in shots of a man’s genitals—all encapsulated in various tight-fitting garb from dress slacks and jeans to leather pants and swimwear. That is, until the crescendo, timed for that moment when the viewer can no longer stomach the apparent discomfort, when the man appears in white cotton underwear specially designed to “boost men’s manhood by providing them with comfort and ventilation wrapped in a modern design.”

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The General Motors-owned automaker then introduces its free collection of underwear, Ride Comfortably by Opel—The Astra Sports Tourer Collection. Opel launched the Astra Sports Tourer, a station wagon, earlier this year.

The ad, while not exactly surprising for Europe, is out of the box enough that Fortune reached out to General Motors to make sure it wasn’t a parody or a fake. It’s real, a spokesman says.

Here’s the commercial spot:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbbDVU2mHzU]

The automaker says a past study by a Danish hospital indicates that today Danish men have seemingly less of the male sex hormone than they had five decades years ago. This can lead to lower desire for sex and lower confidence. Which was apparently concerning to Opel Denmark because, as the automaker puts it in a release announcing the campaign, “it takes a lot of man to buy his first station wagon.”

The logic behind the ad goes like this:

  • testosterone levels among Danish men is in decline
  • this can lead to low confidence,
  • which in turns causes over-compensating actions like buying impractical sports cars

Opel contends that it takes courage, maturity, and strength to make adult choices, like say, buying a station wagon for the family.

Opel has created buzzy marketing before. The company’s 2014 “Umparken Im Kopf” campaign—roughly translated as “repark you mind”—featured iconic fashion designer Karl Lagerfield and his spoiled cat Choupette. Lagerfield photographed the fifth generation Opel Corsa; his cat was the model in the photographs.

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