U.S. Spec 2011 Fiat 500 SportEnlarge Photo
Life is hard. Getting things right requires patience, skill, knowledge and some luck. And sometimes, you depend onyour competition missing an opportunity. Or possibly, to quote President G. W. Bush, "misunderestimate" what a person can do.
I think the new Fiat 500, a really cool-looking car, may just get things right.
I commented back a while ago about Fiat getting a do-over in North America, so I won’t rehash that, you can go to the post and see what I mean. However, what I do want to emphasize is that Fiat has very clearly taken a page out MINI’s marketing magnificence to create a couple of ads that, if played here, if positioned right and used in the right (social) media, could put the 500 on a path to being a cult car a lot like the MINI is.
Does Fiat have a colossal challenge ahead of it? Yes, because they can’t trade on their history, and they only have one car to start of the franchise here in North America. But through the power of advertising, they could send a message to style-conscious consumers and sporty-minded drivers that the Fiat will have all the pulling power of a MINI, but be even more unique. As automotive art, possibly. (By the way, check out the official Fiat 500 Web site, which is really nicely done.)
But let me get to the ads. They both utterly amplify what this car is and is meant to be, namely functional automotive art made to make you look better every time you get in or out of the car. The ads use clear images, white backgrounds, few color mixes, and really easily understood symbols. Very few words, it’s meant to be a global car with global appeal. The ads do this perfectly.
I particularly love the Everyday Masterpieces ad, as it uses Iggy Pop-ish style music (that rebel punk genius), really recognizable things we use every day that we consider art in some ways, and they tie it all together with the Fiat 500’s fun, spunky nature. I think this ad really drives home the Italian view on life that you can have art in every day life--be it shoes, a vase, a plate of tasty pasta, or even a simple car. And that car, the 500, can be beautiful, soul-inspiring, rolling art that just happens to come from Fiat.
Success will be dependent on many factors for Fiat, but getting the image right will go a long way to making the cars desirable, and I think these ads are a great start.