GET READY by Impatto, Mirada for Fiat

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Industry Cars
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Impatto
Director Mark Kudsi
Agency Mirada
Designer Chris Ballard
Released May 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Automotive and Transport
Advertiser: FIAT
Product/Service: FIAT 500
Agency: MIRADA
Agency: IMPATTO
President/Chief Executive Officer: Michael D’antonio (Impatto)
Senior Writer: Parag Tembulkar (Impatto)
Senior Art Director: Craig Smith (Impatto)
Account Executives: Jason Hayes/Shannon Stone (Impatto)
Producers: Lorraine Kraus/Kristin Loudis (Impatto)
Director: Mark Kudsi (Motion Theory (MTh))
Executive Producer: Javier Jimenez (Motion Theory (MTh))
Line Producer: Anna Joseph (Motion Theory (MTh))
Director Of Photography: Eric Schmidt (Motion Theory (MTh))
Production Designer: Teri Whittaker (Motion Theory (MTh))
Visual Effects Producers: James Taylor/Christina Caldwell (Mirada)
Senior Art Director: Jonathan Wu (Mirada)
Lead Compositing Artist: Ash Wagers (Mirada)
Compositing Artists: Jason Lowe/Ed Laag/Thomas Horne/Oliver Scott/Phil Guthrie (Mirada)
Code Artists: Keith Pasko/Tim Stutts (Mirada)
Designer: Chris Ballard (Mirada)
Flame Artists: Danny Yoon/Matt Bramante (Mirada)
Lead Editor: Lenny Mesina (Mirada)
Additional Editing: Fred Fouqet/Hoa Mai (Mirada)
Executive Producer: Scott Cymbala (Massivemusic)
Director Of Photography: Eric Schmidt (Motion Theory)
Executive Producer: Scott Cymbala (MassiveMusic)
Media placement: DIGITAL, CONSUMER PR - Fiatusa.com, Facebook - March 2011
Media placement: DIGITAL, CONSUMER PR - 500 FIAT Customer Emails - March 2011
Media placement: DIGITAL, CONSUMER PR - Youtube.com/fiatusa - April 2011
Media placement: DIGITAL, CONSUMER PR - Youtube.com/fiatusa - May 2011

Summary of the Campaign
FIAT came back to the USA after 2 decades, with a baggage and image problem. But it had an iconic car in a new form. There was as much need to correct the image, as there was to sell the car. The car was positioned as one with passionate self-expression and targeted people who were expressionists in their own right. This didn’t need a blast in the mainstream media but a long running direct, PR, CRM campaign that conversed with these people like ‘humans’ rather than a ‘company’.

What unfolded was a multi media campaign with several components. To begin with, the first 500 FIAT 500’s were offered on Facebook for a downpayment of $500 without mentioning the final price and were booked quickly. This was followed by a regular series of personal email updates from the Head of FIAT with photos of individual cars in different stages of production. This ensured constant excitement and appeasement so that almost none dropped out during the long wait. Videos of eager waiting customers were created (tapping into their anticipation and knowledge about the brand) and went viral causing excitement amongst the ‘500 community’. And a grand music video — featuring people and cars getting ready to meet each other — that premiered exclusively online, leading them to the final delivery status. All this not only got and retained customers or sold cars but also started creating a brand that people started getting excited about - besides correcting an old, uncool image.

The Situation
FIAT had left the USA 2 decades ago with an image problem and a service issue. It came back, but the image problems persisted. This needed to be solved in order to gain customer confidence and sell the car. It needed personal conversation. It needed the brand to be seen in a different light: youthful and cool. The thinking was that mass media (especially with a low budget) wouldn’t be as believable as niche; conversational marketing would if it involved the customers themselves as consumers and message bearers.

The Goal
- To introduce the brand after an absence of 2 decades.
- To break through the negative image perceptions of 'old and uncool'.
- To ensure that those who’ve booked the vehicle are constantly engaged and fed brand stories that are interesting and expressive, so that they would spread the FIAT word.
- To make the first 500 customers feel very special and make their wait for delivery worthwhile. They, after all, were the brand’s foremost expressive, passionate evangelists.

The Strategy
Talk directly to customers like an interesting person or friend, rather than a company. For a brand that had taken an image beating and was absent for 2 decades, it was necessary to introduce it differently than the usual TV/print/OOH media.

Start the conversation by offering the car in an exciting social media.

Encourage them from then on right up to delivery to generate overall positive brand response.

Exploit every touch point during the course so that customers themselves would happily spread the good word.

And most importantly, make the people who’ve booked the first FIAT 500’s feel very special, as they would be passionate, expressive and de facto evangelists of the brand.

Execution
To create excitement, the first 500 FIAT 500’s were offered on Facebook for a downpayment of $500, without mentioning the final price. They were booked quickly. The following months saw a series of communications to create a relationship with these customers — the brand evangelists. During the delivery period, personal email updates were sent from the Head of FIAT with actual photos of individual cars in different stages of production. This ensured constant excitement and appeasement so that almost none dropped out during the long wait. Videos of eager waiting customers were created (tapping into their anticipation and knowledge about the brand) and went viral, causing excitement amongst the ‘500 community’. And finally a unique way of leading them to their vehicle delivery: A grand music video featuring people and their car getting ready to meet each other that premiered exclusively online, making them feel very special.

Documented Results
The original objective was to sell 500 cars and check the mood for FIAT and test the waters. The brand was returned after 2 decades and an image problem. But it quickly went beyond just that. 500 cars were sold within days of the Facebook promo. They were bought by people who were passionate about the brand. With every piece of communication sent to them, they generated brand conversation via word-of mouth in social media. Almost none of these people fell out and took delivery after a long wait. The final piece, the music video that led them to their delivery status and was exclusively premiered to them was spread by them. The effort was worth half a million hits on YouTube in the first week.