Porsche Out To Regain Roadster Glory

With sales of its entry-level sports car slipping, Porsche is attempting to reinvigorate interest in a redesigned Boxster with efforts that include a TV spot from Carmichael Lynch breaking today.

“Porsche really believes they’re the benchmark for the roadster,” said Craig Rowley, director of account management at the Minneapolis-based IPG shop. “[The campaign] is much more conscious of establishing this as the truth.”

The spot shows a red Boxster fading in and out of view, as does the sound of the engine. As the cuts get more rhythmic, the soundtrack becomes more melodic until a voiceover announces, “Perfectly tuned.” The spot is the culmination of an effort driven by direct and database marketing, which included a flip-book outlining the key differences in the redesigned Boxster.

Sales of the Boxster peaked at about 13,000 in 2001 and have dropped steadily since in a flat category, said Rebecca Lindlan of Global Insight in Boston. Chevrolet sold more than 35,000 comparably priced Corvettes last year, according to Ward’s AutoInfoBank.

“It used to be a segment that was pretty much owned by Porsche,” said Todd Turner of Car Concepts in Thousand Oaks, Calif. “Porsche let its guard down and let somone else in their santcum.”

The Boxster redesign is the first in seven years, which hasn’t helped it in a category driven by new design, Lindland said.

The ad budget was not disclosed. Atlanta-based Porsche Cars North America spent $20 million on ads last year, $2 million of that on the Boxster, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.