ROOM FOR HUNDREDS OF TOYS: Connor Higley (now 18) poses alongside his Astra. As a baby (inset) he led the charge for Opel’s child safety campaign in 1996. Image: NEWSPRESS ~ Supplied
Back in 1996 more than 40 babies were gathered to make televisual history in an ambitious advert for Opel's Astra.
Since then thousands of South African kids benefited from this advert, advocating rights and protection for children on the road. Take a trip down memory lane and watch the classic car ad!
Back in 1996 more than 40 babies gathered under one roof to make televisual history in an ambitious advert for Opel’s Astra. One of those babies was Connor Higley, now 18 and driving... an Astra.Video: Classic Opel Astra ad – Baby on board
In the advert Higley had the lead role on the podium advocating the Astra. He addressed his fellow baby stars as “Citizens”, calling for the right to travel in safety with two side-impact bars, pollen filters to protect "our little noses" and enough room for "hundreds of toys".'HECTIC COUPLE OF MONTHS'
Since then thousands of South African kids benefited from this advert, advocating rights and protection for children on the road.
Higley said: “I'm proud of my acting debut and often play the advert to friends – my girlfriend in particular thinks it’s a cool claim to fame. The coincidence is that, when I passed my test recently, I chose to drive an Astra. It set me off to a good start in life but I didn't go on to star in any further acting roles.”
Higley’s mother, Amanda Higley, explained: “After responding to a radio advert searching for babies, I took Connor to the audition. He was nine months but caught the director’s eye by apparently holding out a hand to shake. He also had very chubby cheeks which made him perfect for the role.
"It was a hectic couple of months. A special high-chair was built to resemble a podium for Connor and I remember some of the babies were attached to the chairs using Velcro to prevent them from falling over. I can’t believe 18 years have flown by so quickly.”
In celebration of the 110th anniversary of Vauxhall Motors (Opel’s brand in the UK), the automaker has launched a microsite titled "Vauxhall and I" which includes a compilation of personal stories, anecdotes and photographs of owner's and their cars.
Vauxhall’s marketing director Peter Hope said: "It was an ambitious project to gather a room of 40 babies. British film director Tony Kaye was a perfectionist and we wanted to get across that the Astra was a family car, made in Britain – something still key to the Astra in 2013.” OPEL RESURGENCEBelow you can find out more about Opel’s latest products and plans for SA:Wheels24 speaks to: Opel SAOpel Corsa faceliftOpel Astra SedanOpel Meriva 1.4 Turbo Enjoy