To introduce the new iteration of its Cayman sports car, Porsche Cars North America is launching a marketing campaign called “Code of the Curve.” The campaign integrates a smartphone app with a Speed Channel program called "King of the Curve." There is also print and online advertising.
The iPhone app, launching this week, allows users to do virtual precision driving. It uses the phone's accelerometer and GPS to record performance metrics and lets users compete with other drivers for the top places on the leaderboard. Users can also share “drives” and earn badges for winning on curves and corners, per the Atlanta-based U.S. arm of Porsche. The driving challenges were developed with the Porsche Sport Driving School.
The "King of the Curve" special on Speed Channel pits Porsche Cayman owners against celebrity drivers Brian Austin Green, Will Fichtner, Dara Torres and pro drivers Brian Vickers, Patrick Long and Graham Rahal in a battery of road tests in a 2014 Cayman.
The marketing push began with an exclusive preview of some 60 Cayman loyalists, who were invited to Las Vegas to see the 2014 model firsthand and parade their own cars down the Vegas Strip. The effort is via Chicago-based independent Cramer-Krasselt, which this year retained its six-year-long AOR status following a six-month review.
Porsche has had a good year. Last month, the luxury performance car brand delivered 15,020 vehicles worldwide, up 13% versus 2012. Sales are up 19% so far this year. Sales in the U.S. were up 38% last month, making it the best May ever and second-best month ever for Porsche in the U.S. Cayman, Boxster and 911 grabbed 45% of sales.
At the not-so-fast end of the spectrum, the automaker is going after five-year-old drivers, although they won't be behind the wheel of a Cayman anytime soon. The company's licensing program under the Porsche Driver’s Selection product line now includes a go-kart with Porsche branding. The five-footer is part of Porsche's Lifestyle Collection. It doesn't have a turbo mid-engine powerplant unless a kid has been doing leg lifts since he or she was born. It also has Porsche demographic: it starts at $900, without fuel injection.