FIAT CABRIO DAYS CAMPAIGN by Leo Burnett Brussels for Fiat

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Industry Cars
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Belgium
Agency Leo Burnett Brussels
Creative Director Tom Loockx, Jorrit Hermans
Released March 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Celebrity Endorsement
Product/Service: FIAT 500 CABRIO
Manager Marketing/Communications: Alexandre De Preter (Fiat)
Creative Director: Tom Loockx (Leo Burnett)
Creative Director: Jorrit Hermans (Leo Burnett)
Senior Art Director: Isabelle Hubinon (Leo Burnett)
Senior Copywriter: Sophie Colens (Leo Burnett)
Design: Benoit Germeau (Leo Burnett)
Account Director: Rodolphe Coonen (Leo Burnett)
Account Manager: Arnaud Matthys (Leo Burnett)
RTV Producer: Monique Sampermans (Leo Burnett)
Radio Production Company: (Cobra Radio Brewery)
Radio Director: Raf Debraekeleer (Cobra Radio Brewery)
Video Production Company: (Pikaboo)
Animation: Gwen Baye (Pikaboo)
Media placement: Radio campaign - VMMA radio station Q Music, Belgium - March 29th 2011
Media placement: Press release - Belga news wire - March 29th 2011
Media placement: Print news - Corelio Group and De Persgroep newspapers in Belgium - April 2nd 2011
Media placement: Radio news - VMMA radio stations - March 29th 2011
Media placement: Online new - All digital news media in Belgium - March 29th 2011
Media placement: Direct campaign - Direct mailings and e-mailings via Fiat database - April 1-10 2011

Summary of the Campaign
Fiat attempts to bribe famous weathermen to sell cabrio cars. This indecent proposal becomes headline news and makes the Fiat sales event, more famous.

Challenge: How to make a new and unknown sales event famous on a limited media budget?

Objectives: Create newsworthy content with the Fiat 500 cabrio and attract as much earned media attention as possible to promote the Fiat Cabrio Days sales event.

Strategy: We made prank calls to famous Belgian television weathermen and tried to bribe them to improve the weather forecast during the Fiat Cabrio Days. We recorded these calls and broadcast them on national radio. This way these calls made headline news in Belgium. The Netherlands and France generated lots of earned media attention and announcing the Fiat Cabrio Days on a much larger scale than originally possible, with the initial media budget.

Outcome: The Fiat Cabrio Days were headline news in Belgium in all major news media. The number of people visiting the Fiat dealerships in Belgium increased by 100%. Fiat 500 Cabrio sales increased by 25%. And sales of the regular Fiat 500 model increased by 40%.

The Situation
The Fiat Cabrio Days are new and unknown sales events by a small car brand, Fiat.

In Belgium, Fiat is a challenger car brand and the market is small but competitive. Because of its limited size in Belgium, Fiat did not have a huge media budget to spend to create rumour around its sales event, the Fiat Cabrio Days. In addition, selling cabrio cars in Belgium is not obvious, because of the weather: it rains 200 days a year in Belgium. So we needed something remarkable and fun to promote the Fiat Cabrio Days.

The Goal
- Make the Fiat Cabrio Days sales event famous
- Create newsworthy content with the car and the event Create traffic to the Fiat showrooms

Target audience: Any car driver in Belgium

Research conclusions:
First insight: in Belgium it rains 200 days a year.

Second insight: if the weather would be better, more Belgians would buy a cabrio.

Third insight: weathermen are very credible and thanks to computer models their forecasts are very accurate these days.

Fourth insight: we need national mass media to support our message.

The Strategy
By bribing credible institutes, such as famous weathermen, through prank calls, based upon research facts and insights and by broadcasting these conversations on national radio, we created impacts and headline news.

This news would then feed the rest of the campaign and generate a lot of earned media attention through various news channels.

First: find the most famous Belgian weathermen - one week, March 2011

Second: set up a prank call to bribe them - 2 days, March 2011

Third: record a conversation during which we offer money to improve the weather forecast on television - 1 day, March 2011

Fourth: turn these calls into radio commercials and broadcast them on national radio - 2 weeks, March-April 2011

Fifth: claim the calls with press releases and media support - 1 week, April 2011

Sixth: use the media coverage to create a direct campaign inviting people to the event - 2 weeks, April 2011

Seventh: close the deal - 2 weeks, April 2011.

The campaign ran just as planned originally.

Documented Results
The campaign started with a prank call we then broadcasted on the radio, this kicked off a nationwide PR campaign.

So the initial investment in bought media generated nearly the same amount of attention in earned media.

We generated earned impressions in TV, digital, radio and press, worth 195,431 euros. This is the kind of budget any brand would have to spend to run a national media campaign in Belgium.

It came on top of the initial media investment of 246,658 euros. Meaning we nearly doubled our media investment and generated a total of 702,261 free impressions.