Ad of the Week #5


I’ve tried to stay away from creative car advertising for a while, but there are just so many good examples of unique advertising in the automobile industry! Today’s comes from Pfaff Auto, in Toronto.

Direct Mail is something that every business has used at one time or another. It is relatively inexpensive to create, and it gets you in front of a large amount of people. However, direct mail isn’t very effective. At the agency at which I work, we tell our clients that we consider a direct mail campaign successful when it has a 2-3% return rate. That means that for all the money that a business spends on developing a direct mail piece and sending it out to thousands of people, only 2-3% actually do something with that piece. On a good day. Those are not good odds.

Pfaff Auto teamed with agency Lowe Roche and decided to do something a little different with their direct mail campaign. Targeting affluent neighborhoods in Toronto, they drove a Porsche 911 Carrera S and parked it in people’s driveways. They then took a picture of the car parked in the driveway, and in a van that was parked near by the house, they printed a personalized direct mail piece. The piece had the headline “It’s closer than you think,” and urged people to go to their website to book a test drive. They would then put these personalized direct mail pieces – featuring the Porsche in your own driveway – in these people’s mailboxes, and then they would move on to the next house.

This campaign was so successful that 32% of the people who received this piece went to the website and booked a test drive. 32%! That is incredible, especially considering that we consider 2-3% a successful campaign!

Personally, I think this is a risky campaign – I know my wife would be very freaked out if she saw this in our mailbox. But I also think it hits the nail on the head in regards to messaging. They targeted people who looked like they could afford the car, and they showed them what their house would look like with that car in the drive way. It’s pretty awesome.

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