We like a bit of tongue-in-cheek playfulness in our commercials, it’s a well proven recipe to viral success and works particularly well when seasoned with a pinch of controversy. Over the past few years Audi and BMW have traded blows in ever more hostile outdoor campaigns and Lexus are also quite partial to a bit of anti-Germanic rhetoric.

For the first time (that I can remember) Peugeot have joined in the fun, taking a poke at Audi (Odi) and Porsche (Paurche) in their new RCZ “Sports coupé in French” campaign. The idea behind the ads is to spell the logos of iconic sports coupes in French. The subtext being “.. the Peugeot RCZ is the first French sports coupé. Just as good as its German counterparts, but with an elegant French touch.”

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We can comprehend the inclusion of Audi’s TT (Odi TÉTÉ) as comparison to the RCZ, but Porsche’s Cayman? (Paurche Cailles-mans) – that could well be a step too far and undermine the success of the campaign.

What do you think?

The print ads were created for Peugeot by Euro RSCG of Zürich, as part of a comprehensive campaign to raise the profile of Peugeot’s RCZ and you should see them cropping up in newspapers and magazines across Europe.

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Back in 1963 Porsche launched their first ‘new’ car since the 356, calling it the 901. The new 901 was warmly received when revealed at that year’s Frankfurt Motorshow, but Porsche’s elation was short-lived when Peugeot stepped in and claimed they were infringing its copyright using a naming scheme where numbers were on the outside with a zero in the centre. A year later the Porsche 901 was renamed 911 and the rest, as they say, is history.

Clearly Porsche weren’t best pleased with Peugeot back in 1963, so it will be interesting to see if they view these new RCZ ads with quite the humour one might otherwise expect…