Toronto Porsche Dealer Redefines Direct Marketing

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Pfaff Porsche puts a new 911 in your driveway, then tries to sell it to you.

Direct marketing is the latest trend in sales, but its invasive measures leave some reeling from an invasion of their privacy. A story recently emerged, for example, where a major chain store was tracking a teenage girl's buying patterns and, determining that she was pregnant, sent her fliers at her parents' home. Needless to say, the parents were not impressed... and neither was she. That was an extreme case, but has a Porsche dealership in Toronto gone too far with this latest direct-mail campaign?

Pfaff Automotive recently hit some of the Canadian city's most affluent neighborhoods with a shiny new white 911 and a mobile printshop. They then photographed their car in (or in front of) the driveways of some prospective customers, printed out custom fliers on the spot and put them right in the mail slots of the same homes. The campaign highlighted what a new Porsche would look like in a buyer's driveway with the slogan, "It's closer than you think."

The result? An astounding 32 percent response rate, meaning that nearly a third of those canvassed called the dealership to schedule a test drive. Those are some solid numbers, but would you have responded as favorably, or would you consider it an invasion of your privacy? For our part, we'd probably be taken aback if we got that kind of flier in the door... but the initial feeling might not necessarily preclude us from scheduling a test drive, too.

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