Fiat Indulges In More Advertising Brand Engineering

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

The very first post-bankruptcy, Chrysler-brand advertisement was a true re-badge, literally replacing Lancias with Chryslers in the exact same advertisement. The second spot, which we ran yesterday, was a vague, year-end spot emphasizing history and heritage while showing only one modern car. Though it’s not a strict re-badge like the Lancia ad, the new Chrysler ad is, at the very least, based on some serious platform-sharing. Specifically the ad above, an Italian-language spot for the Fiat Group, is thematically identical to the Chrysler ad.

It starts with a shot of Fiat 508s, which bear more than a passing resemblance to the Airflow the Chrysler ad opens on (in fact, the Balilla would be restyled in a windtunnel for 1935, making it the second production car after the Airflow to receive the modern aerodynamic treatment). From there, the ads become even more similar, showing scenes of Fiats throughout history, and finally centering on Fiat’s hottest current model, the 500. The only real difference is the absence of the leather bag (symbolizing “the continuation of life with all Chrysler Group brands”) used in the Chrysler spot.

If you think the comparisons are a stretch, check out this piece in the Detroit News. According to the write-up, Chrysler’s marketing boss Olivier Francoise intends to:

duplicate what he did for Fiat, but on a shoestring budget that requires combining resources where possible and trying to come up with something that stands out in a crowded marketplace.

Combining resources. Shoestring budget. Chrysler Nassau. If Fiat’s going to rebadge cars, why not get twice the sales per advertising “architecture” as well? The prosecution rests.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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4 of 5 comments
  • Juniper Juniper on Jan 05, 2010

    So What?

  • Pgcooldad Pgcooldad on Jan 05, 2010

    Oh and the last sentence of this piece speaks volumes "The prosecution rests". What are you procecuting?

  • Carguy Carguy on Jan 05, 2010

    Edward - bailout or not, Chrysler needs to continue its marketing operation in order to have any chance of survival. The spots featured today and yesterday spot are nothing out of the ordinary and don't really warrant that much attention or discussion. Chrysler are still allowed to run their own company even though taxpayers are their largest stock holder. I didn't like the auto bailouts either but I also never did see any matching outrage or column inches devoted to asking energy companies what they did with all those billions of dollars worth of subsidies and tax breaks that they got over the last 10 years (or maybe those military contractors who have been getting fat on no-bid contracts). The only difference between this administration and the current one is which industry they choose to waste our money on.

  • Tgriffith Tgriffith on Jan 05, 2010

    Fiat advertising could really help Chrysler, which really needs to change its brand perception. I think good things will come out of Fiat branding. It hasn't yet, but it should. For 3 more bad videos, and one good one- check this out: