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Porsche embraces racing roots with La Carrera Panamericana effort

Both drivers and spectators can feel the spirt of La Carrera Panamericana. Image credit: Porsche


German automaker Porsche is celebrating La Carrera Panamericana with a cinematic campaign.

In a suspenseful and moving short film, Porsche paints a vivid illustration of the heart and work that encompass the La Carrera Panamericana, a seven-day race. From flashbacks to races in years past to testimonials about the emotional component of the event, the vignette is an inviting celebration of this race.

“This campaign is unique in that it celebrates the unique history of the La Carerra Panamericana racing event, which is an important chapter in Porsche's rich legacy and inspired the automaker's Panamera and Carrera models,” said Julie Blackley, communications manager at iSeeCars, Boston.

“It is a testament to the Porsche brand and the spirit of its drivers, and celebrates its classic models rather than its new ones.”

Racing for greatness
La Carrera Panamericana began as a historic a border-to-border event on the open roads of Mexico. The original iteration ran for five years, from 1950 to 1954, as many today still look back on the race in awe.

Porsche captured several drivers participating in this year's version of the race, with the same historical ground covered.

The Spirit of La Carrera Panamericana

The vignette commemorating the event opens with a stretch of land in Mexico, and suspenseful music set as a background for a Porsche vehicle racing quickly, solitarily, on an otherwise quiet road.

“It is the last true road race,” an omniscient narrator says. “It isn’t 24 hours, it’s seven days, crossing an entire country.”

The narrator then describes the specifics of the race: 4,261 kilometers covered, 642 of them as fast as a driver could cover.

The film even includes a small crash, reflecting the trials and tribulations of this kind of work.

“The saying that something sometimes takes blood, sweat and tears, in this case is true,” a driver says. “It gets the best and the worst out of you.”

The vignette continues vacillating between current day scenes and footage from years ago, describing the feeling of being a part of this race and how that specific spirit lives on today.

Although this is a race with roots in the past, its spirit reverberates in drivers, spectators and other races today. The same heart and sacrifice that went into La Carrera Panamericana is elicited in contemporary racing.

“There is that point where you’re wondering, why on earth am I doing this?” a Porsche driver remarks. “It’s that one turn where you really get in the proper rhythm that make everything go away, all the doubts.

"You catch yourself finishing with a smile on your face, and that’s why all this craziness is worth it.”

Porsche continues inviting consumers to dominate the races in their own lives. Image credit: Porsche

At the very end of the film, the unseen narrator informs all that she is present, and willing to be tapped for anyone who seeks drive and adventure.

“If you’re ever ready, I’ll be here for you, I am the spirit of La Carrera.”

Porsche’s rich racing history
Porsche is one of several automakers with a role in the racing sphere. Porsche has recently released several campaigns inviting consumers to tap the excitement of racing in their own ways.

The automaker is conveying that a consumer does not need to be a professional race driver to channel a similar sense of excitement that a Porsche can evoke.

Last July, Porsche dared drivers to move forward in a spot highlighting its then-new Macan.

The adventure is woven through the new Macan’s DNA, as well as its sleek performance. The spot reminds drivers that the Macan can give a special kick to an otherwise ordinary day (see story).

This kind of excitement can even be translated to the virtual world.

Last December, Porsche illuminated the passions behind its creative minds in a new short.

In a vignette highlighting the thought and design processes behind the Vision Gran Turismo in the upcoming Gran Turismo video game, offering a glimpse into the minds of those who crafted the vehicle. The short film traces the entire design process, from inspiration and personal hobbies of the team, to the specific and emotional factors that went into its creation (see story).

“Campaigns like this [Spirit of La Carrera Panamericana] let Porsche apply its legendary racing pedigree to more experiential type of stuff, that draws in a wider, more diverse audience than outright racing does,” said David Undercoffler, editor in chief at Autolist.com, San Francisco. “It's a savvy marketing move.”