There are a lot of tricky things in marketing communications but two of the trickiest is to (1) communicate your heritage (how long you have been around) and (2) communicate where you are from.

Heritage is a double edged sword.

Credibility and old … oh … and who cares.

Where you are from is also a double edged sword.

Credibility and “not from here” oh … and ‘who cares.’

Suffice it to say that both are useless <i.e., no one will care> without being tempered by some relevance.  And when tempered properly with relevance than people do care.


Fiat has taken on the “where are we from” challenge.

And quite well I may say.

It’s not easy but they have made “Italian” attainable in a likable relevant way.

I would suggest they have done a brilliant job mastering the nuances but that would suggest I know what the hell I am talking about.


The Fiat Barth tv spot.

Wow. Little things done very well. The woman is clearly exotic … but attainable exotic. Simple black sheath dress.  Taller than guy but not too tall. No fingernail polish and short nails (she doesn’t look like she is gallivanting down Rodeo drive or champ de Elyse). Nice figure but not extraordinary in “stripper” (or enhanced) ways. And the scorpion tattoo on the back of the neck is an absolutely fabulous touch (I cannot even imagine the discussion and debate that took place around that detail in creative meetings).  It is so well done all I can do is applaud.

This commercial was done for sure by Richards Group out of Dallas.

Fiat Barth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siWVgAzhFC8


And then the newer tv commercial.

Coming to America (tv spot called ‘immigrants’).


A cross between lemmings with an objective and symbolically how easy it is for Americans to get a taste of Italy. Beautifully done. Using just enough Italy to establish the Italian mystique. Using just enough of the symbolically impossible to make it interesting. Using just enough metaphor thinking so that we unconsciously capture some interest. Oh. And the music. Well well played. Italian shifting into Pitbull as the Fiat comes ashore in America.

The kind of nuance I appreciate.

This one I am not sure who did … maybe Doner or Richards Group (both are Chrysler ad agencies).

The music is called “Come Back to Sorrento” or “Torna a Surriento” by Arianna and Pitbull.

Fiat immigrants: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fi80LapfFI8

And if you are interested in seeing all the television ads they currently have in their portfolio here is a link to all the Fiat commercials: http://www.youtube.com/fiatusa?sid=1037056&KWNM=fiat+commercial&KWID=3109902851&channel=paidsearch

I know I pick on the absurdity of a lot of marketing & advertising but I do like to do a shout out when something is done well. Especially when the attention to detail and managing the nuances <which can truly make an “okay” communications idea into a “really good” communications idea.


And while that last point is probably an entire post in itself suffice it to say that thought <assessing what nuances are truly important and managing them properly> is generally the difference between large and small agency work. And hack agencies and good agencies. But, as I said, different post.

Enjoy and well done Fiat.

Written by Bruce