Porsche: Taking The Kids To Soccer? Lose The Minivan

Porsche

Americans who dream about having a Porsche in their garage don't have to envision leaving it there until the weekend. That's the message of a new campaign that eschews mountain roads and high-speed driving imagery for real-life experiences. The campaign, "Engineered for Magic. Everyday," shows people doing such very unsportscar-like activities with Porsches like picking up kids from school and getting groceries.

No, the Atlanta-based U.S. arm of the sports car maker isn't rolling out a turbocharged minivan to go with the Cayenne SUV. Rather, the effort, via Chicago-based AOR Cramer-Krasselt, is designed to promulgate the idea that if you buy one of Porsche's roadsters or sports cars, you aren't relegating yourself to a life of wistful glances at the garage each morning before slumping into your four-door appliance with a baleful sigh for the drive to work or the shopping center.

Scott Baker, marketing manager for Porsche Cars North America (PCNA), explains that the campaign follows a raft of market research showing that potential customers might be balking at the idea of buying a car just to let it sit around. "We asked people what was keeping them from considering [a Porsche car and they said,] 'I don't feel I will be comfortable driving in L.A. traffic; it doesn't have new technology that I need to manage my everyday life; it doesn't have space to take people with me.' And so that really kind of solidified this understanding that, from an everyday drivability standpoint, people don't think we are relevant," he says.

Baker adds that to alter this perception the company took a TV, print, online, mobile, direct mail and in-cinema "swarming" approach. "We are trying to overcome the perception that they can't drive a Porsche car in everyday situations, and to overcome that we need to show several pieces of evidence," says Baker, adding that the TV vector of the campaign includes both the 30-second ad and a series of 15-second vignettes showing how relevant Porsche cars are to everyday circumstances.

The TV advertisements will run on national cable channels like History, ESPN and Discovery, and print will appear in April issues of newspapers and magazines such as The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Fast Company and Condé Nast Traveler. Headlines include, "Turns small errands into short adventures" and "Passion should never take a snow day."

The automaker is also using the effort to launch a consumer-content website similar in scope to [and inspired by the success of, per Baker] the ongoing Porsche Family Tree site (PorscheFamilyTree.com) it introduced for the launch of its first sedan, the Panamera, in 2009.

The PorscheEveryday.com site pairs professionally produced videos and images with owner-submitted content in mosaic style. To prime the content pump, Porsche gave out 200 Flip video cameras to owners with the suggestion that they contribute videos. The brand has also tapped Porsche Club of America, dealers and their customers, and its million-plus Facebook fans

Porsche also has partnered with the Reelz channel for a program to get amateur filmmakers to create short films about "daily magic." The best of them will be shown before feature films in Spotlight cinemas around the country.

Baker says the short-film element came from Porsche's insistence on using media partners as more than distribution channels. "When we RFP for partners we expect a lot out of them -- it's going to be predicated on how well they understand not just our audience but exactly what we are trying to communicate," says Baker. "If we can get media properties to be not only amplifiers but content partners, that becomes another huge leverage for the campaign."

Recommend (7)
2 comments about "Porsche: Taking The Kids To Soccer? Lose The Minivan".
  1. Brent Bouchez from Five0 , March 25, 2011 at 6:02 p.m.

    So...it's just like a Toyota or a Chevy?
    How to take an incredibly special brand and make it boring. I've owned 6 Porsches and I've never picked up bags of whatever at Home Depot. The consumers who can afford this vehicle (911, Cayman, Boxster) buy it as a second or third or even fourth car. Period.
    Porsche makes other vehicles that don't have the "problem" of being left in the garage, they're called Cayenne's...or even Panamera's.
    All this campaign does is bring up an obstacle that really doesn't exist except in a focus group with a lot of prompting and cajoling.
    Besides, I can guarantee you that those two kids won't fit in the back seat of a 911 unless the person driving is a dwarf.
    Too many brands today don't understand what brought them success in the first place.
    The Porsches in this campaign are "sports cars", that's how they're designed and what they are intended to be used for.
    One could make the same advertising for Ferrari's, Lamborghini's and Maserati's...but why would you?
    Do they really want to make the Porsche brand just like every other luxury brand and in the process completely lose their point of difference? It seems the answer is yes. I once did the advertising for Porsche. I met with Ferdinand Porsche and filmed him in a commercial, I can tell you that he would find this campaign confusing to say the least.

  2. Brent Bouchez from Five0 , March 25, 2011 at 6:05 p.m.

    BTW The engineers in Germany actually call the rear seat in the 911 the "emergency seat". There's a reason.