American Marketer

Events / Causes

Porsche showcases Carrera history with targeted racing events

May 23, 2013


Porsche Cars Great Britain is enticing top-tier automobile owners and enthusiasts by showcasing the innovations of its iconic Carrera during the model's 50th anniversary year.

The automaker introduced Project 50, a campaign comprised of involvement in European racing events, through a YouTube video to get the word out to its fans. Porsche is likely to maintain the 50th anniversary celebration momentum by participating in racing events that show off the 911 throughout the years.

“In a category like this, it's about depth, not breadth,” said Nick Miller, strategist at Siegel + Gale, Los Angeles. “The Porsche 911 brand doesn't need to advertise to a mass market to achieve its goals.

“A communications strategy targeted to top-tier customers not only sells cars to people who can actually afford them, but also puts physical displays out in the market,” he said.

“All it takes is one sighting of a 911 speeding by to understand this is a truly amazing experience.”

Mr. Miller is not affiliated with Porsche, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Porsche was unable to comment directly.

Iconic racing
Porsche Great Britain created a 105-second video titled “Project 50 – The Idea” to explain the initiative and the reason behind it.

The video was posted on Porsche’s global Facebook page to gain exposure.

Facebook post

Ragnar Schulte, marketing director of Porsche Great Britain, explains the initiative in the video.

Mr. Schulte says that during the next six months, the Porsche team will send out the 1965 original racing 911 vehicle to some of the historic race tracks in Europe.

The vehicle will be racing in the Brands Hatch Masters Festival in Kent, England; the Silverstone Classic in Silverstone, England; the Nürburgring OldTimer Grand Prix in Nuremberg, Germany; the Spa Francorchamps in Stavelot, Belgium, and the Jerez Masters festival in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.

In addition, the vehicle will be at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England, where Porsche is taking center stage, per Mr. Schulte.

The new 2013 Carrera 2S will also be traveling with the older vehicle.

After Mr. Schulte explains the vehicles and the races ahead, one of the racing drivers walks up to him as they shake hands before both hop in the vehicles and drive away.

A white screen comes on at the end, which tells consumers to follow the journey at

Project 50 - The Idea

This project comes after a previous celebration of the vehicle.

The Carrera was celebrated by TAG Heuer. The watch maker celebrated the history of the vehicle and its iconic Carrera timepiece, which was inspired by the car (see story).

Since the 911 vehicle is an iconic Porsche vehicle, these celebrations and exhibitions are likely to attract Porsche enthusiasts.

“The 911 is the crème de la crème in a brand family with an extremely loyal fan base,” Mr. Miller said. “Porsche owners absolutely love their cars and if they don't already own one, they all want a 911.

“It's a sexy sports car, with a rich history among the world's elite buyers, and the racetrack is its ideal display case,” he said.

“There's no better way to show off the performance, style and all-out power of this incredible piece of machinery.”

Reaching milestones

This year seems to be the year for automaker’s to celebrate anniversaries through exclusive products and events.

For instance, sports car manufacturer Aston Martin is marking its centenary in 2013 by the unveiling of an updated logo and hosting global celebrations such as a week of open house activities at its headquarters and a birthday event in London (see story).

Furthermore, British automaker Rolls-Royce Motor Cars will release a special collection of vehicles to celebrate 10 years since it started production at its headquarters in Goodwood, England.

The model line is titled “Home of Rolls-Royce Collection” and was designed by the automaker’s Bespoke team. Rolls-Royce is celebrating this anniversary throughout the year and is hosting exclusive events during 2013 (see story).

However, automakers that celebrate their anniversaries through events could help draw more attention to the vehicles.

For Porsche, this initiative will entice brand enthusiasts and auto aficionados who want to see the vehicles’ capabilities in person.

“Having a presence at a race event is effective for two reasons,” Mr. Miller said. “One, it’s a highly relevant location to experience the brand.

“Two, it's the perfect communication channel to showcase the features of the latest and greatest model,” he said. “Even those who can’t afford one marvel in shock and awe as they experience the sights, sounds and feelings a television commercial or print ad could never capture.

“This physical presence out in the world is a great strategy for maintaining affinity among current loyalists while showing the next generation everything it has to offer.”

Final take

Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York