Porsche: Panamera O2O brand repositioning

Porsche, a car brand, launched the Ode to Joy campaign to increase awareness of the Panamera model in China.

Campaign details

Brand: Porsche Agency: PHD China Country: CHINA

Marketing context

China's premium auto market is defined and still dominated by the "Big German 3" (Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz) – with more modern auto body styles beyond sedans (or, increasingly, SUVs) requiring more awareness-building, familiarity, and ultimatel Mitigating this intention is a continued policy and pressure from China's central government against ostentatious luxury purchases. For some, the concern is that by showing off too much wealth you may be a target of government scrutiny at a time when the broader Chinese public is well aware of the significant gap between rich and poor. At a brand level, Porsche as a brand had fairly high awareness/recognition prior to this campaign launch. (66% for Porsche, compared to BMW at 76% and Audi at 74%.) However, model awareness for Panamera was low – certainly not as high as BMW 7 Series, Audi A8, or Mercedes-Benz S-Class. This was mirrored in search behavior: Panamera search queries were lower than BMW or Audi competitors, and was only higher than Maserati because much of its search behavior consisted of terms related to finding out its Chinese name – indicating model name confusion as well. Panamera was dramatically outspent by its top competitors: Investing less than 5% of Benz's S-Class's budget, about 5% of Audi A8's budget, and less than 10% of BMW 7 Series' budget. Furthermore, Panamera was also considered to have the Porsche Sports Car credentials, therefore limiting is appeal as a business car for city usage. What we needed to do in this original/launch campaign: Rapidly increase awareness of Panamera, make it a credible alternative to the Big German 3, and shift perception such that Panamera was a new kind of business sedan – for a new kind of successful Chinese businessperson – and not simply a sports car. Was there a way to combine our potential customers' desire for a large premium sports sedan – signifying success and achievement a bit more energetically and imaginatively than the traditional black Audi sedans of their fathers' generation?

The campaign had four phases, each designed to surprise and delight our target audience and reinforce the Porsche brand and New Panamera Executive's exterior styling:

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