The other day I was reading the latest headlines on automotive advertising strategies, and came across this post:

"Porsche Makes Direct Mail Personal…And A Little Bit Creepy"

Have you all heard about this? An ad agency named 'Low Roche' recently helped one of its clients, a Porsche dealership, get a 32% response rate on a 'mailer' -- using some very digital tactics. They actually took a Porsche to the homes of the 'well-heeled' in targeted areas and took a picture of it in front of each person's house. The mailer with the image front and center said "It's Closer Than You Think." Stalkerish? Yes. But did the targeted people bite? In a surprisingly large percentage, yes.

Do you all find this kind of marketing too invasive to be viable long-term? Or is it the next means of taking tried and true marketing tactics (snail mailings) and bringing them up to the level of the new social digital online age? Article below, follow the hyperlinked title to see the video and a slideshow of the advertising images on their website. Your thoughts welcome!

"Porsche Makes Direct Mail Personal…And A Little Bit Creepy"

Agency Lowe Roche helps residents of ritzy Toronto 'hoods imagine Porsche ownership with a direct mail campaign that’s as close to home as it gets.

Those familiar with Toronto will know that neighborhoods like Rosedale, Forest Hill and the Bridle Path are the toniest zip codes in the city. Those hoods are the land of gold-gilt driveway gates, Olympic-sized pools, and entrance foyers the size of some mid-sized Manhattan apartments. The perfect target market for a local Porsche dealership.

Agency Lowe Roche conceived a campaign to bring Pfaff Porsche directly to the well-heeled residents of Toronto by putting a new spin on that old standard: direct mail.

To support the campaign line “It’s Closer Than You Think,” the agency loaded a production van with desktop printing gear, parked a gleaming white Porsche 911 in front of monster homes and created custom direct mail pieces that made it look like the homeowner’s (presumable) dream car was parked out front.

The idea may seem a little bit creepy, what with a marketer stalking and photographing your house with the aim of having you drop well over 100 Gs on a vehicle and all. But it seems the targeted didn’t mind: 32% of those who received the piece of mail booked a test drive online, a remarkable result for direct.

As for me, a Toronto resident, jealousy is a more fitting way to describe my reaction to the campaign. The owner of a modest home in a normal neighborhood, it appears I’m outside of the target demo for high-end automotive dreaming.

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Comment by AutoSTARR on August 24, 2012 at 11:35am

Solid points, Matt - Sorry for the delayed response!

The article definitely leaves some room for questions and speculation. I have to agree; this seems a little too invasive. But at the same time, 32% is quite high, and it certainly inspires future marketing campaigns to think about how to employ similar, perhaps less creepy strategies to get the attention of potential buyers.

Cost is also a big factor.... ostensibly Porsche had a set aside a large chunk of mailing campaign finances, since sending representatives to each of these locations and then paying for high-quality print-outs and mailings can't be cheap.

Dealerships are left with the challenge of balancing overall budget and allotting enough funds for campaigns that can gather a higher number of responses.

Thanks for commenting!

Comment by Matt Hayward on August 2, 2012 at 4:38pm

Personally, this is a little bit too "in your face" for my taste, but a 32% response rate is pretty good.

However, to really evaluate the piece's effectiveness, I'd want to know 3 things:

- How many of those people actually bought a Porsche at the dealership that month.

- How many Porsches the dealership usually sells when they aren't doing a direct mail piece.

- How much the direct mail campaign cost (comparing the cost of the piece to the sales over and above what the dealership usually sells).

Matt Hayward

CBC Advertising


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