Porsche launches integrated campaign to shift consumer perception

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Porsche is rolling out an integrated marketing campaign featuring direct mail, mobile, online and TV elements with the goal of changing consumer perceptions about its products. The car maker worked with agency Cramer-Krasselt on the campaign.

Porsche conducted research late last year that found that consumers viewed its cars as impractical purchases for everyday use, said David Pryor, VP of marketing at Porsche. The campaign is targeting luxury auto consumers and a “subset of auto enthusiasts,” he said.

“Their perception of the car was almost that every 911 [model] was like a GT3, like it was almost like a race car instead of a car that could be driven every day,” he said. “We saw that as an opportunity to correct that misperception. We're not going away from the core brand values of performance, engineering and state of the art technology, but we want to put a little bit of focus on that every day side of it.”

All campaign elements direct consumers to a dedicated website featuring company- and consumer-generated content, including videos, photos and testimonials from customers about the everyday use of their cars. Consumers can share the content through social networks.

Porsche launched the initiative March 24 with TV commercials in select markets, such as New York, Miami and Los Angeles, during the NCAA Men's Basketball Division I Championship tournament. Pryor said Porsche launched the campaign during March Madness “because people are less likely to DVR it.” He estimated that 80% of the company's customer base has DVRs, “so we're fairly conscious of that when we're doing our TV buys.”

The company will launch other campaign elements, including direct mail brochures, print advertisements, a mobile-optimized website and a short-film contest, next week. The winning video submission will air in movie theaters prior to the trailers, said Pryor.

Porsche will distribute direct mail pieces to consumers outside the company's customer base “to make sure that we can demonstrate this ‘everyday magic' notion to some people who have not driven a Porsche in a very long time or have Porsche in their consideration set but haven't pulled the trigger,” said Josh Cherfoli, online and relationship marketing manager at Porsche Cars North America.

To submit content to the website, consumers are asked to provide their name, ZIP codes and e-mail addresses, and asked to opt-in to monthly e-mail newsletters from Porsche.

Consumers can also submit their buying interest, such as when they might buy a new car, the budget for their next car, and what Porsche models they are interested in. Porsche will relay that data to their local dealerships which can contact consumers regarding “upcoming events in their areas, so that way we can make sure that those consumers are engaged moving forward from the campaign,” said Cherfoli.

Pryor said Porsche could repurpose consumer-generated content for future marketing or promotions, but added that the company has no plans to do so.

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