Porsche Seeks Wider Audience

Porsche Cars of North America looks to broaden its base in a less cerebral, more spontaneous campaign from Carmichael Lynch.

“We’ve done a nice job with the enthusiast press, but we wanted to grow into other segments,” said Tim Mahoney, the At-lanta company’s general manager of marketing.

In addition to its traditional media buys during National Football League telecasts and in car enthusiast magazines, Porsche will expand the campaign to niche cable networks such as CNNfn, the History Channel and general interest business magazines, he said.

Though the carmaker is coming off a successful sales year, Porsche needed to broaden its audience in advance of its planned 2002 launch of a sport utility vehicle, Mahoney said.

“As we begin to launch the SUV, we want to start reaching out to a larger audience,” he said.

This year’s campaign builds on last year’s theme, “Ignite the spirit,” by emphasizing the humor and fun of driving a Porsche with the theme, “It’s a thrill like no other.”

“What we want to do is keep that level of intelligence [from the previous campaign] but have more fun represented in the work this year,” Mahoney said.

One television spot takes place in Ireland, where two older men debate which one of them should be the designated driver. The other spot depicts a girl intentionally missing the school bus so she can get a ride in her father’s Porsche. The Irish spot was directed by Oscar-nominated director Stephen Frears.

Print work continues to depict elegant photography of the cars, with headlines such as, “What a dog feels when the leash breaks.”

“It’s a quicker and more personal connection,” said agency president John Colasanti. “We’re leveraging the more aggressive qualities of Porsche.”

Mahoney declined to offer specific billing figures for the new campaign, but said spending would increase over the $10 million spent in years past.