With its latest campaign for Porsche, Havas Singapore is inviting drivers to prove they’re not chicken.
“License to Thrill,” a multi-country campaign, will challenge the top 30 performers in a theory test to take part in “a series of unusual and exhilarating practical tests” at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia on Sept. 8.
The agency is keeping quiet on the full list of challenges but promised they will include “painting the number ‘718’ on the track surface while driving the 718 Porsche Boxster with a drilled pot of paint mounted on the car, or doing a gymkhana in reverse with the Porsche Macan.”
The top driver will be named the “2017 Porsche Asia Pacific Driver of the Year” and win an all-expenses paid trip to the Porsche Experience Centre in Los Angeles. The competition is open to drivers from Brunei, Cambodia, French Polynesia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Caledonia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
We spoke with Havas Singapore Chief Creative Officer Andrew Hook about what it really means to drive a Porsche, the logistics of shooting on a racetrack, and what it’s like working with a chicken.
What was the main insight that led to the License to Thrill campaign?
For decades, Porsche has been producing some of the most exhilarating cars on the road. A Porsche is a very special breed of sports car. And to drive it – we mean, really drive it, to experience what the car is truly capable of – requires a special level of skill. Our idea was that if you want to drive a Porsche, any Porsche, you’re going to need more than just an ordinary driver’s license. We dramatized this fact by inviting fans to sign up for an entirely new class of ‘license’, which we call the License to Thrill.
What was the hardest part about bringing the campaign to life?
Getting the films off the ground. See below.
Tell us a little about the shoot. What speed did you get the car up to?
The three films were shot over three days, with a dry run happening one day before.
It was a serious logistical exercise, with many different factors to take into consideration. To begin with, getting access to a Formula 1 track is never simple, as the track is booked out most of the time for races or private events. We needed to fight for slots across multiple days where we could have access to at least part of the track, and then juggle this with the weather and lighting conditions (for automotive shoots, we try to avoid midday sun, which means shooting only early morning or late afternoon).
We also had limited windows of time to access the cars, which were being used for other Porsche activities, as well as the professional drivers.
Not a lot of automotive shooting happens in this part of the world. So we decided to bring in some seasoned experts, flying in from Australia our DOP/Director and Key Grip (whose job is to oversee the delicate camera mounting, tracking vehicle, crane, and all the other various hardware). We then engaged both Singapore and Malaysian crew to help pull it all together.
Of course, everyone was also worried about how the chicken would behave. But that ended up being one of the easiest parts of the shoot to handle – she was a consummate professional from start to finish.
As for top speed, the 911 Turbo S (featured in the “Brake-manship” spot) was hitting around 250 kmph on the home straight. Quite incredible to witness. At that speed it sounds more like a jet fighter than a car.
After the theory test, the top 30 participants will test their skill and driving flair at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. What will that entail?
The participants will themselves go through a series of “practical tests” putting them through their paces and learning first hand what a Porsche is really capable of.
We don’t want to give the whole programme away yet. But as well as creating some drama, the purpose of the films is to give a taster of what’s in store for the drivers. In fact, the “egg test” (for emergency braking) and the reverse gymkhana (demonstrated in our second film) are both going to be featured in the final programme – and that’s just for starters.
Agency: Havas Singapore
Chief Creative Officer: Andrew Hook
Creative Director: Kelvin Lim
Creative Group Head: Shervin Seah
Copywriter: Y2 Villanueva
Agency Producer: Danli Lok
Regional GAD | Director of Operations SEA: Antoine de La Seiglière
Account Manager: Glenn Chan
Strategic Planner: Gereld Khoong
Production Company: The Momentum
Director: Tov Belling, Director
Executive Producer: Pervyn Lim
Producer: Joshua Tan
Production support: Tankers
Music: Song Zu
Music Director: Lindsay Jehan
Head of Sound Design: Damian Waddell
Executive Producer: Donny Pereira