Five years on, as Fiat Punto gets a face-lift with a revised front end, new bumper, a new air dam, and new headlamps, the car brand revamps its ad with a sharper hard-sell approach. With its latest ad, the brand unveiled the new Punto Evo to reinstate its strengths, while promoting all the new additions, and ensuring the car is a part of Fiat’s overall brand positioning of ‘Hello Life’.
Punto’s advertising agency Grey explores the creative idea—Life just became more interesting. It uses the device of adding a different take to any situation. “While something is enjoyable in its own way, it can be made even better by simply incorporating a different aspect to it,” the agency statement said.
The ad film starts off contrasting ‘great’ life situations, with what could make them ‘interesting’. The film shows young, urban protagonists, accompanied by corresponding visuals, a voice over explains that while a black suit is great, a yellow tie is interesting. While coffees are great, cappuccinos are presented as interesting. The scenarios covered include ‘great’ birthdays and ‘interesting’ birthdays on top of the world, singing and singing in the rain, and jokes and pranks. The film moves to a road trip on a Fiat Punto, which is described as great. The voice over adds that unplanned road trips are interesting. The new Fiat Punto Evo is introduced as the voice over says 'Great just became interesting.’ Features of the car that substantiate the ‘interesting’ premise are demonstrated. The film ends with the message: ‘Life just became more interesting.’
Watch the video here
While the brand attempts to make things “interesting” for its buyers, industry experts feel it’s trying too hard.
Sambit Mohanty, Creative Head, DDB Mudra North, says, “It seems the raison d'être of this ad is to drill the difference between 'great' and 'interesting' into our minds—and the constant repetition of these words starts grating on your nerves. In the process, what gets lost is the opportunity to showcase a unique offering from Fiat. The film, though stylishly shot, is anything but interesting—see how banal a word that is? “Cool, hip people” having oodles of fun has become a trope in advertising and this one's no different.”
Nima Namchu, Chief Creative Officer, Cheil India, too feels the same way. “While I get the objective and what the team is trying to do here, I found the commercial rather dull. “Great just became interesting” was probably the brief and, in my opinion, shouldn’t have been transplanted onto the creative. “Interesting” itself is a rather weak word. If they couldn’t come up with a more exciting articulation, they should have definitely come up with more powerful and interesting visual interpretation,” he said.
“Perhaps the reason why I don’t find it impactful, or even differentiated, is the fact that the features that the commercial tries to persuade you to believe are really cool and cutting edge aren’t really impressive at all.”
“Most car advertisements in this segment typically sound very transactional and competitive. It's mostly about mileage, power, legroom, etc., which while being an important part of the decision making process, sometimes leave out the ‘experience’ of what it ‘feels’ to drive that car. We forget that cars are actually an extension of one’s personality. With the new communication for the Punto Evo, with it’s exciting new features and great Italian design pedigree (an intrinsic part of the Fiat lineage), we have tried to occupy the mind space of a discerning consumer who while being reassured of the 'basic asks' of a great car (obviously) also has a chance to have an 'interesting' driving experience with this Italian hatchback,” said Malvika Mehra, National Creative Director & Senior VP, Grey Worldwide India.
Dheeraj Sinha, Chief Strategy Officer, South & South East Asia, Grey group comments, “The challenge for Punto was to evolve its equity while retaining its strengths. We rooted the evolution in the changing archetype of the Indian man. The good boy has now become interesting. He has always been solid and intelligent, now he has added flair. The Indian geek today comes in coloured pants and spiked hair. This is also the shift that Punto as a car brand is going through. Punto has been a solid car, the new Punto Evo is made more interesting with a host of new features thereby adding new flair. Punto has evolved to Punto Evo in-line with the consumer, from being great to being interesting too.”
How the campaign impacts sales is yet to be seen, but industry experts are surely not ‘buying’ the campaign.