The Stuttgart sports car manufacturer is the first to present the new 911 Targa virtually in its own Web TV format. Head of Communication Dr. Sebastian Rudolph gives insights.
The world premiere of the new 911 Targa was originally planned for the Beijing Auto Show, but the contact restrictions caused by the corona crisis finally led to an alternative solution: Porsche is expanding its digital offering in product communication. In three exclusive episodes, the web format 9:11 magazine, which has been established since 2017, presents the “Targa”. Dr. Sebastian Rudolph, Head of Public Relations, Press, Sustainability and Politics at Porsche, explains the background.
The filming for the presentation of the new 911 Targa took place in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. What are the challenges of such a production in times of Corona?
“Pioneering spirit is an integral part of our brand and is more in demand in Corona times than ever. Also in communication. Go new ways. Rethink finished plans. And sustainably protect the health of everyone involved. With passion, creativity and an impressive team performance, this was achieved. Of course we would like to present the 911 Targa live. Unfortunately, this is currently not possible. Now we are showing the latest model variant of our sports car icon virtually. With some surprise effects.”
The brand ambassadors Maria Sharapova and Jörg Bergmeister also play a role in the three-part video series. Why were they included in the production?
“Because they stand for the brand. And are part of the brand. Because they embody our Porsche culture. And that is precisely why it fits our Targa series ideally and credibly. Maria Sharapova has been a fan of Porsche and especially the 911 for many years. During her great tennis career and also now. Jörg Bergmeister has had numerous successes with the Porsche 911 as a racing driver. Over 20 years with different generations of 911s. This close relationship with our sports cars brings them both into the production – in a positive sense. “
Will digital formats like this replace the classic world premieres in the future?
“I think here in terms of opportunities: digital formats will complement classic world premieres, enrich them and sometimes take place instead of a classic world premiere if this makes sense. Our sports cars deliver pure emotions, which also develop a lot of power in a live presentation. We want to make dreams come true. We can convey these dreams to customers and journalists virtually, but also at exclusive world premieres with goose bumps or at driving events on the racetrack. The important thing is that communication must be authentic, informative. And it has to offer added value. Digital and classic formats are two sides of the same coin.”
And how successful can the digital part of the presentation be?
“The analysis of the Geneva Motor Show gave us first insights. The presentation of our 911 Turbo S should actually have taken place live on site. Because of Corona the fair was canceled and we had to design a virtual world premiere within a few days. The result: The PR value achieved and the range achieved each significantly exceeded the values from the previous year. Here too, we had a brand ambassador with Mark Webber. And here too it was a team effort. ”
Journalists will have questions about the new products. At an event, details can be explained directly using the real vehicle. How do you deal with such a need?
“By planning it in. And go innovative ways here too. We will use our “go-in store” technology for interviews for the first time at the world premiere of the 911 Targa. In sales, our customer advisors use them for live chats with customers. Directly on the vehicle without having to enter the sales room. In communication, we present various features to video journalists who are connected to the video chat, virtually live, on a real vehicle. At the same time, we rely on proven platforms. Think of the Porsche Newsroom, which around three million users visit every year. Here information, photos and videos are just a few clicks away.”