Continuing the trend of brands taking over Times Square, FIAT North America brought its first TV commercial, "Drive-in," to life with an event that evoked Italia for Big Apple tourists and shoppers this past weekend, not letting Sunday's rain spoil the fun.
The lure of free espresso and gelato, bocce ball, music and a drive-in movie experience — thirty Fiat 500 sedans and cabrios arranged, drive-in style, to watch movies on the Times Square jumbotron as dusk fell — wooed passersby to check out the "Simply More by Fiat" experience, where they could chat with Fiat product specialists (including Fiat North America head Laura Soave) and check out the 2012 Fiat 500 and Fiat 500 Cabrio.
The "Simply More by Fiat" experience will now travel to similar weekend pop-up drive-in events in Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles.
Soave told Bloomberg ahead of the New York kick-off to the soft-sell tour that Chrysler Group LLC, majority-owned by Fiat SpA, “probably” won’t hit its target to sell 50,000 of the new Fiat 500 in North America this year because it took longer to open new stores than previously expected. Soave added that the company is intensifying 500 marketing efforts, including the planned promotion in Times Square:
About 100 Fiat stores have opened in the U.S., including about 30 in July. The goal is to have 130 by year-end. “We have coverage now, so now is the time for us to turn this up,” (Soave) said. “We’ve activated the smaller guerrilla-type marketing, but then these are the bigger events that are going to get us bigger awareness.”
She also says the 500 isn't targeting a particular consumer or demographic, instead describing the model to Adweek as appealing to "the creative class."
“The car is a more of a lifestyle choice than an age or demographic,” Soave told Adweek. “We have a lot of very young buyers; a lot of buyers over the age of 60. It’s a very design-driven choice by people who appreciate culture and like the simplicity and uniqueness of Italian design.”