Porsche's creepy new ad campaign

Porsche's creepy new ad campaign

That tag line comes off a little too much like "the call is coming from the basement!"

A Toronto ad agency conceived of a novel - and unsettling - new ad campaign which unfortunately seems to be working fairly well. Expect this form of "guerilla advertising" to start popping up more often in the future.

Ad agency Lowe Roche grabbed a 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S from the dealership, took it to an upscale neighborhood, then drove it to each house in turn. At each location they positioned the car where the driveway overlaps the sidewalk (i.e. on public property) and snapped a picture that made it look as if the car was just pulling out of the drive.
 
Then they printed this picture on a postcard, and left it for the home's residents, along with a note that Porsche ownership is "closer than you think."

I realize they mean it to sound like "this could be you." But to me, that tag line comes off a little too much like "the call is coming from the basement!"
 
Sadly, they have seen a surprisingly high response rate, with 32 percent of postcards resulting in a trip to the dealership's website. Although it could just be a case of curious homeowners visiting the website to answer the burning question, "Who is the creep that sent me a picture of my own house with someone else's car in front of it?"
 
This particularly odious form of customized marketing will no doubt appeal to ad campaign managers across the world. More's the pity. Imagine returning to your car from the shopping mall, only to find that someone has left a postcard under the windshield wiper with a picture of your car, sporting new tires. Or maybe as you walk through the grocery store you will be ambushed by someone with a postcard featuring a picture of you, walking through the grocery store, but with a bag of Cheetos in your cart.
 
Apartment dwellers might find themselves the recipients of photos of themselves, signing mortgage papers on their dream homes. The elderly may receive postcards of themselves, reclining on the beaches of Boca Raton. 
 
Aside from being creepy and stalker-ish, this form of advertising trades strictly on the consumer's narcissism. It only works because it's YOU in the photo (or your house). It's like a grown up version of those books you could have printed from a mall kiosk customized with your child's name slotted in as the protagonist. And what more is there to say about advertising that literally makes you a worse person by catering to your narcissistic tendencies?