Posted by Shirley Brady on November 23, 2011 12:19 PM
Fiat, which just ousted its North America head in the wake of disappointing sales of the 500 in the U.S., has come under fire for the celebrity pitching the 500 — Jennifer Lopez. As The Smoking Gun website broke this week, the "My World" spot (released in October) claims to feature "Jenny from the Block" tooling around her old neighborhood in the Bronx. The only problem: the whole thing was faked, with a body double used for the New York shoot while JLo shot her sequence in Los Angeles. Making matters worse, the New York lookalike's 500 cabrio broke down during filming.
The description for the "My World" video makes it sound like Eminem's "Imported From Detroit" Super Bowl spot for Chrysler: "My World tells the story of how the simple elements of our upbringing help define who we are and where we're going. They serve as a source of inspiration to achieve our goals in life. That drive and determination is the common thread that is shared with the FIAT brand. - Life is Best When Driven.'"
As Fiat reassesses its US launch strategy for the 500, Joe Langley, senior analyst with LMC Automotive in Troy, Michigan, commented to AFP that Fiat USA "seemed rushed to get the 500 to market, despite marketing and distribution not being completely ready." The 500's "cute, iconic styling will only take it so far in the market once the 'fad' buyers fade," he added. "Barring a more defined marketing message for the brand, Fiat faces difficulties in luring consumers away from established and well defined brands."
The Lopez flap comes as speculation mounts that the brand's new Fiat 500 Abarth commercial is too racy for TV:
Fiat, meanwhile, is looking beyond TV commercials to product placement, featuring the 500 in this week's episode of Bravo's Work of Art TV series: