March 16, 2018
German automaker Porsche is showing off the performance power and luxury interior of its Panamera through a pranking stunt that turns the tables on its subjects.
Automakers often connect with fans through a variety of tones, appealing to both their humorous and more serious sides. Porsche’s latest film looks to comedy while also demonstrating enticing factors of its Panamera vehicle, completing the content with a surprising ending.
“Porsche is not known as a ‘pranking’ type of brand so this type of marketing can be refreshing for its fans,” said Doug Scoron, managing partner at Foxorn Experiences.
Porsche is surprising fans by showing off its funny side in a prank video that has more depth than meets the eye.
“The Valet Prank” takes place at a hotel in Thailand, particularly at the valet stand. A narrator explains the setting to viewers, as the hotel’s valets greet guests and go about their everyday tasks.
The narrator explains that the guests are unaware of the 25 cameras hidden around the outside of the hotel, along with a film crew and director stationed in a van nearby. He clarifies that they are waiting to prank the guests.
Porsche then begins delighting the guests when they show up to receive their own vehicles by delivering them a new Porsche Panamera instead. These guests then get to check out the opulence and luxury of the car by taking it for a test ride.
Porsche Panamera interior. Image credit: Porsche.
The project’s director smiles and gestures “thumbs up” to the camera. But in a twist, the film cuts to a scene later on where the director is clearly distraught.
“So how does he get from this, to that?” the narrator asks. “Let’s give it a little twist.”
“The real story begins when this young gentlemen wants his car back,” he continues as a man who seems to be in his 70s walks up to the valet.
When the Porsche Panamera appears, the young valet attempts to escort the man into the backseat of the car to test it out. But the man distracts the valet and gets into the driver seat.
This sends the director, crew and valets into a panic. Their fears escalate as the man drives away in the Porsche at top speeds, completing donuts around the parking lot.
The driver continues showing off the power of the impressive Panamera, driving as if he is a professional, until finally leaving the hotel. But quickly, he then turns around as the narrator informs viewers what is happening.
“Oh I forgot to mention,” says the narrator. “It is me, Jacky Ickx,” as graphics appear displaying Mr. Ickx's accomplishments as a racecar driver, including six Le Mans wins.
Mr. Ickx turns the car around and returns it to the crew, as confetti falls from the sky. They all laugh with relief upon discovering that it is indeed a prank.
“If there is one thing in life I learned from being a racecar driver,” Mr. Ickx said, “Is that life is about exceeding expectations. Don’t you think so?”
Future of Porsche
Porsche has been integrating unique strategies into its company with new and interesting ways to connect to consumers.
The automaker recently teamed up with a playful partner to help establish a love for the brand early on in young car enthusiasts.
Porsche is working with Lego to combine creativity with design and a love of cars. The two brands are releasing a Lego set based on Porsche vehicles and are touting the partnership by bringing the automaker's museum to life at night (see more).
The automaker also just joined the luxury brands who are creating a forward-looking strategy that leans on electric vehicles, despite the “burden” it is.
In an interview with Automotive News Europe in November 2017, Porsche chief financial officer Lutz Mesachie explained that the brand would like to invest in EV to compete with brands such as Tesla, but doing so is an “extreme burden on a company of this size.” The automaker’s CEO announced at its museum in Stuttgart, Germany that Porsche will undergo a “three-pronged” strategy to tackle EV and mobility to compete in the future, but the driving experience will still be the focus of the brand (see more).
“Videos like these that jump on the YouTube and viral video trends are important in staying connected to the everyday as well as high income consumer today,” Foxorn’s Mr. Scoron said. “Porsche video is an example of how brands can manage these tools to work for them.”