20 October 2009

Chicago Ad Firm Cramer-Krasselt Scores Big Wth Porsche TV Spot

Chicago Sun-Times

The family of Porsche models comes together 
in a desert setting to welcome the new Panamera in a 
television spot from Cramer-Krasselt/Chicago

Mention the words "cars" and "advertising" in the same breath, and most people's eyes start to glaze over fast. Cars rarely are the most fascinating or innovative category in the advertising world, though the Modernista shop in Boston did try to do some interesting things with the Cadillac brand. But now that account is in review, and, probably wisely, Modernista won't be pitching to retain it. Welcome to the advertising world circa 2009, where there's little rhyme or reason for much of what happens.

But while Cadillac starts to sort out where it wants to go with its advertising, we're happy to report that Cramer-Krasselt/Chicago has developed a rather nifty campaign to introduce Porsche's new Panamera, the very-high-end car manufacturer's first four-door sports car. The campaign's theme line is "Welcome to the Family," a reference to a long line of Porsche models introduced over the course of 60 years the German carmaker has been in business.

When C-K announced a couple of years ago that it had won the Porsche business, some observers believed the high-gloss account's arrival in Chicago would mark the start of a major turnaround in the local ad industry and the addition of more such accounts at agencies all over town. Things, of course, haven't quite worked out that way. And frankly, some of C-K's early, rather perfunctory-looking Porsche work didn't suggest the agency was exactly going to catapult car advertising to new heights or that the shop was singlehandedly going to turn around Chicago's entire ad industry.

But now comes the introductory television commercial for the "Welcome to the Family" campaign, and it's definitely a cut above C-K's previous Porsche work. Called "Family Tree," the debut spot was filmed in a dramatic desert setting, where what looks to be nearly the entire family of Porsche models -- including the 917 model driven by Steve McQueen in the movie "Le Mans" -- have come together to welcome the four-door Panamera into the fold.

With the help of some razor-sharp editing, the commercial tracks the Porsches racing across the flat terrain, while the voiceover explains Porsche's reason for being -- suggesting that every model introduced has answered a dream of one sort or another. That insight serves as the segue to welcome the Panamera into the mix. As the forceful voiceover talent describes the Panamera as another bold line on the Porsche family tree, we see an illustrative overhead shot of the cars creating a tree and its branches on the desert floor.

Altogether, this is a beautifully shot, edited and written commercial, though we would have preferred that the line of copy "the first true sports car for four" include the word "passengers" just for clarity's sake.

The "Family Tree" spot has a great deal of spit, polish and impact, but the new print work for the Panamera introduction isn't quite so spiffy. There's some exceedingly slick and rhythmic writing in the executions, to be sure, but C-K has chosen to include several images of design details from Porsches of the past that do tend to create a cluttered look that isn't in keeping with the sleek Porsche aesthetic this campaign otherwise so effectively underscores.

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