Porsche Keeps Creative at Cramer-Krasselt After Six-Month Pitch

Contenders Included Droga5, CP&B, McKinney and Olson

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After a six-month agency review, Porsche has opted to keep its creative account parked at Cramer-Krasselt, the incumbent on the business since 2007.

The search was launched nearly six months ago, and was narrowed down to five agencies. They were: independents Droga5 and Olson, MDC Partners' CP&B; Cheil-owned McKinney; and the incumbent.

For the Chicago-based indie shop Cramer-Krasselt it means hanging onto a marquee account at a time when it's been relatively quiet on the new business front. The agency a year ago picked up the Panera account and is lead agency agency for Corona Extra and Heinz.

Of course, for the shops that spent valuable time and resources pitching the auto account, it's frustrating that the exercise didn't yield an agency shift. The review process was managed by Culver City, Calif.-based consultancy External View. But according to people close to the pitch procurement officers were involved in the selection process, suggesting that cost was a factor for Porsche.

But Porsche's marketing department said the selection came down the shop with the most knowledge of the brand that presented quality work.

"We had an extremely strong field of agencies that illustrated outstanding thinking and passion for our brand throughout the search process," said Andre Oosthuizen, vice president of marketing for Porsche Cars North America, Inc. "The decision to extend our partnership with Cramer-Krasselt was based on the agency's committed senior leadership, unique understanding of our brand and their innovative work. They have been a valuable, collaborative partner and we look forward to continuing to work with the team at Cramer-Krasselt."

Cramer-Krasselt will continue to handle national advertising across all channels and Porsche Dealer Marketing content development in the United States. Omnicom Media Group's Chicago office is the media AOR for Porsche in the U.S.

Porsche's ad spending is relatively small compared to mainstream auto makers. Porsche spent about $23 million on advertising in 2012, according to Kantar Media. But Porsche targets an elite, upscale audiences in its ads. Porsche cars range in price from $50,000 to over $200,000.

Porsche sold 35,043 cars in the U.S. during 2012, up an impressive 21%. Many of them were the Porsche Cayenne SUV, according to the Automotive News Data Center. Known for its classic tagline -- "Porsche. There is no substitute" -- the brand has in the past sparked serious envy among its luxury sports car competitors. General Motors' Chevrolet has publicly stated its taking aim at Porsche with its new 2014 Corvette Stingray this year. Jaguar Cars North America is also targeting Porsche lovers to buy its new F-Type two-seat sports car. Chevy sold 14,132 Corvettes in 2012, up 7%.

The remaining 50% of Porsche not owned by Volkswagen was purchased by the carmaker in July. When the U.S. Porsche review launched in December, people familiar with the automaker with the company said that this year several reviews have been conducted overseas for Porsche accounts in various markets at the behest of Volkswagen's procurement department. Cramer-Krasselt won the U.S. business in 2007, besting the incumbent, Minneapolis-based Carmichael Lynch, which had the account since 1999.

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