Porsche Wants Its SUV

But Winning Agency Won’t Be Driving Alone
LOS ANGELES–The winner of the review for Porsche Cars North America’s estimated $15 million account could find itself on a crowded road.
Five shops are currently competing for Porsche’s creative account, but the car maker will likely continue to use other shops for creative projects “no matter what,” said Joel Ewanick, general manager of marketing.
The five finalists are Leagas Delaney, San Francisco; Kowloon Wholesale Seafood Co., Santa Monica, Calif.; Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis; WestWayne, Atlanta; and The Richards Group, Dallas. Final presentations, in which the shops will be asked to position the launch of Porsche’s first sport utility vehicle in 2002, are set for Feb. 8-9.
The winning agency will be one of two or three global shops whose work will be used around the world. However, the Atlanta-based automaker will continue to call on Kowloon, Ground Zero in Santa Monica, Calif., and Austin Kelley Advertising in Atlanta for occasional creative assignments, Ewanick said.
Kowloon recently completed a creative and strategic assignment launching the new Turbo model. “It’s been great to have the Turbo assignment, and we hope to broaden our work with Porsche,” said agency president Dick Sittig. Richards and Ground Zero both competed in the last Porsche review, in 1993, won by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco.
The winner will also work with media buying agency Creative Media, New York, and Phoenix-based media consultant Cheryl Kroyer.
The finals, which Ewanick said will be “very competitive,” will call on the agencies to “tell us how [the SUV] fits within our overall brand.” The shops will make strategic rather than speculative creative presentations, although a short video “mood piece” will be permitted. Seven to 10 executives from Atlanta and Porsche AG in Stuttgart, Germany, will pick a winner shortly after the finals.
With the exception of Carmichael, all of the finalists have executives with ties to Porsche through their current or former shops. Leagas Delaney, London, is already a global roster shop handling Porsche’s ads in the U.K.
The finalists were picked from over 150 shops that approached Porsche following its split with Goodby several months ago. “We didn’t keep count [of agency submissions] after a while,” said Ewanick.
Boosted by the Boxster and 911, Porsche’s sales rose 35 percent through October compared to 1997.