When presented with the opportunity of being there with a camera when Jürgen Klopp takes his first strides into electromobility, the storyboard basically writes itself. “You just let Jürgen be Jürgen and capture his reactions – completely natural and authentic,” says Scott Wiltgen. And so, on a Tuesday in late August, the Opel Group Manager and the film crew stand in the car park of the training ground in Liverpool and eagerly await the star manager’s arrival.
The vehicle is ready. The route, the filming locations in the city centre – everything is meticulously prepared, the 75-minute schedule tightly timed. Football fans peer over from the street in the hope of catching a glimpse of a player or their successful coach. And they are lucky. In the best of moods, casually dressed in jeans and a hoodie, the Opel brand ambassador strolls around the corner, sees his Astra plug-in hybrid in carbon black, walks around it and says: “Wow! There it is!” Pure Jürgen Klopp.
“Everything where it should be and great craftsmanship. Well done, Opel!”
Jürgen Klopp about the Pure Panel cockpit
“Hello, everybody!”, Klopp greets the Opel team. They know each other, they trust each other. The two-time winner of the “Best FIFA Men’s Coach” award has been a brand ambassador for the Rüsselsheim-based carmaker for ten years, and he has already appeared in more than 20 commercials. No sooner does he have the key in his hand than he’s behind the wheel: “My debut in electromobility. I drive electric now – exciting,” he says and follows up with his famous grin. Opel service technician Tony Bailey explains details of the Pure Panel, the fully digital cockpit, to the new owner. The routes between the training ground, the stadium and his home, which the coach can now travel purely electrically, are already saved in the navigation system. “Thank you, perfect! Who’s up for a test drive?”
Klopp gets to the point
The cameraman takes the passenger seat, Scott Wiltgen and the sound technician sit in the back. Then the premiere drive in the only right-hand drive Opel Astra on the island begins. The destination: Liverpool’s “Baltic Area”. Along the way, feature clips are created for Opel’s social media channels such as Instagram and Facebook. Because when Jürgen Klopp comments on the technologies that are in the compact class bestseller, it sounds like this: “The massage function of the seat? Better than my physio!”
“My debut in electric mobility. I drive electric now – exciting.”
The Opel brand ambassador on the Astra with hybrid drive
It is this likeable, approachable manner that makes such an impression that Jürgen Klopp’s face is even painted on house walls in Liverpool. The well-known street artist Akse has created a monument to the successful “Reds” manager on the corner of Jordan Street and Jamaica Street. No sooner does the 55-year-old park his new Astra in front of the graffiti than the fans start flocking in.
Selfies, autographs – all part of it
Selfies are taken, autographs are signed. And the minutes for the already tightly scheduled film production pass. “If you just let Jürgen be Jürgen, then that’s probably part and parcel of a shoot in the middle of Liverpool,” says Scott Wiltgen with a shrug. “Come on, us too!” calls Klopp – and so the film crew also gets to share photos with the brand ambassador.
“Looks great, feels good.
Just how a car should be!”
Jürgen Klopp after his first electric drive
In the end, all the fans are satisfied. Jürgen Klopp is too. “Looks great, feels good. Just how a car should be!” is his summary of the Astra after the first electric drive. He bids a fond farewell and gets into his new electrified companion to drive home. The crew waves goodbye, they too are happy. “It went perfectly,” says Scott Wiltgen. The many weeks of preparation were worth it. “Such an ambitious concept can only be realised with a lot of planning. And a well-oiled team.”
Very familiar with the Astra
The concept also worked so perfectly because Jürgen Klopp already knew the new Astra very well, says Wiltgen. During a visit to the Rüsselsheim design department, for example, the 55-year-old was himself involved in the development of the latest Astra generation. He was also present at the world premiere of the Astra at Opel’s Rüsselsheim headquarters. “We were sure that Jürgen, in his typical way, would get to the heart of the Astra.” And the video and feature clips prove it: The approach – it was spot on.