Night Breaker: a worldwide hit


From Chile to China, from Scandinavia to South Africa – drivers throughout the world know and appreciate our Night Breaker. Over the past ten years these automotive lamps have been the main characters in a remarkable success story. To commemorate this anniversary, OSRAM is highlighting its bestsellers with a global advertising campaign. Here’s how it all began.

Having an innovative idea is good. Turning that idea into technical reality is even better. But it's not until the product is marketed and you see the reaction of customers that you know just how good it is. When in 2007 Gunnar Eberhardt, the product manager at Specialty Lighting at the time, started work with his colleagues on a new type of halogen automotive lamp they realized that the lamp had what it takes to become a bestseller. 

 

There was nothing like it on the market. The glass bulb of the prototype was partially coated, which meant that the light could be focused more on the road and the edges of the road. And above all, the light output was significantly higher than that of conventional halogen lamps. "When we compared the brightness of the various lamps it was like the difference between day and night", said Gunnar Eberhardt. "We knew that this OSRAM innovation would make driving in the dark and in bad weather much more pleasant and much safer." The lamp, which we called Night Breaker, just needed to be marketed properly.

“Night Breaker lamps are known to drivers in every corner of the world.” Gunnar Eberhardt CEO of OSRAM China

"When you have a winner like Night Breaker on your hands you have to go all in - no half measures", added Gunnar Eberhardt. A marketing budget was therefore set that was significantly higher than was usual at the time. Before the official launch, Gunnar Eberhardt sent Night Breaker lamps to journalists and car bloggers. This early form of viral marketing was a resounding success - word of the new wonder lamp quickly spread among drivers. An entirely new departure for OSRAM and the automotive suppliers was the major radio advertising campaign that accompanied the market launch. "That was the key to success in Germany. Our Polish colleagues, for example, relied on posters on buses and trams and that approach was ideal for that market."

The Formula 1 car among halogen lamps

Retailers, workshops and drivers were all enthusiastic about the amount of light the Night Breaker produced. Sales were more than 16 million euros in only the first year. Further improvements were made to the lamp over the following years. Then in 2016 Night Breaker Laser was released. "For the cone of light an extremely precise window was lasered into the burner", explained Peter Turza, the man now responsible for product marketing. Night Breaker Laser provides up to 130 percent more light on the road than standard halogen lamps and creates a light beam that is up to 40 meters longer, depending on the type of headlight. "Night Breaker Laser is like a Formula 1 car among halogen lamps", added Peter Turza.

“The new Night Breaker is like a Formula 1 car among halogen lamps.” Peter Turza Product Marketing Manager Night Breaker

This year, OSRAM is celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Night Breaker with a global advertising campaign. Continually developed over the years, the lamps in the Night Breaker family have some of the highest sales of any OSRAM products - around 300 million euros to date. "Night Breaker lamps are known to drivers in every corner of the world", said Gunnar Eberhardt, who is now CEO of OSRAM in China.

 

"The continued success of the Night Breaker family is confirmation of our desire to constantly improve our traditional halogen lamps", added Peter Turza. In a few years' time it is likely that LED and laser light will have replaced halogen technology. But in the meantime, Night Breaker will be true to its advertising slogan: "Light beats darkness".