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Fiat’s surreal peg for new Linea and Punto

16-January-2012
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Fiat’s surreal peg for new Linea and Punto

Fiat has unveiled the all new Fiat Linea 2012 and Fiat Punto 2012. The launch is supported by a brand new campaign created by Saints and Warriors, who won the creative duties for the brand barely a month and a half ago. The TVC has been shot underwater to highlight the new Oceanic Blue shade of the cars and augment the added features like rain sensing wipers, automatic headlamps, bright dual tone interiors and improved ground clearance.

Client: Fiat
Medium: Television

The brief:
Fiat’s core ethos is to design and build cars based on deep understanding of the consumer’s wants and needs. This ethos led to the development of Fiat Linea and Punto 2012. The brief was to communicate this to the TG in a way that would resonate with them and encourage them to take a 'deep dive' to discover more about these cars.

In addition, Fiat as a brand is undergoing a metamorphosis and is making concerted efforts to expand its presence in the Indian market and mind space. Hence, it was vitally important to project the Fiat brand in a new light to the TG in order to be true to the brand’s efforts. The brief to the agency, Saints and Warriors, was to achieve this with a 360-degree communication package.

The creative:
Talking about the idea and strategy developed post the brief, Sartaj Jaffri, Branch Head, Saints & Warriors Mumbai, said, "Keeping in mind the brand essence and product offering, and looking for alignments with the end consumer, we struck upon an insight that the passion of the Fiat brand to achieve against all odds was a trait that the TG identified with even in their own personal lives. The overlap of the product offering with the consumer’s mindset provided the sweet spot for a 360-degree campaign with the potential to resonate strongly with the TG. This drive and deep passion for developing and improving on Fiat’s products provided the perfect platform for the creative leap that led to the new Fiat ocean campaign."

When asked why the campaign was executed underwater for a category like car, Shrenik Chheda, Creative Group Head – Art, Saints and Warriors, replied, "The depth of the ocean is symbolic of the depth of passion needed to achieve something special. The challenges of building a car against the odds is emphasised by actually building a car from scratch under the ocean. Once the creative leap was achieved, the serene underwater environment provided a unique and breathtaking backdrop to showcase the cars. Introducing elements like sharks and deep abysses provides visual edginess to the film.”

The ad occupied the surreal space, never yet explored in automobile advertising, remarked Pratim Putatunda, Creative Director, Saints and Warriors. He added, "Considering that almost all auto advertising in the country tends to operate in the ‘real’ space, a divergence in creative execution to occupy the vacant ‘surreal’ space sets this campaign apart from the clutter. It goes without saying that imagery of cars ‘magically’ being built underwater is something that the target audience wouldn’t have seen before, and therein lay the opportunity to leave behind an indelible impression in his or her mindscape."

The execution:

The film opens with something entering the ocean with a splash and goes on to show different parts of a Linea and Punto converging to form complete cars on the ocean floor. Once the cars are completely built, new features like rain sensing wipers and automatic headlamps are showcased. The Voice Over: “How deep are you willing to dive… for your object of passion? How long can you live with the odds… just to create something new? If the answer is… whatever it takes…Then, hey, we know you! The new Fiat Linea and Punto 2012. Got Heart!” substantiates the idea that Fiat has gone that extra mile to create something unique and special for its users.

Delving more on the idea behind ‘Got Heart’, Putatunda explained, “Working with the insight that those who truly have a deep passion to create something unique and meaningful are personalities who have got heart to take on come-what-may and succeed, the positioning line for Fiat crystallised into the phrase ‘Got Heart!’ This sat well not just with the TG’s persona, but also the product, as at the heart of Fiat cars are some of the most advanced engines in the world.”

Worth a dive and a drive?

The official communiqué from Fiat said: “The new TVC creatively defines how nature is used to highlight the cars’ features and its durability even in tough condition. The entire idea was to break away from the usual, achieve something different in a cluttered space that is created by other auto advertising companies, who adopt a usual standard format.”

We asked industry experts if the new TVC creates a new chapter in the history of advertising created by Fiat. Most of them do not seem to be impressed by the deep dive and say that the whole idea does not resonate with what the cars really stand for. Moreover, showcasing two cars in one ad takes away the charm of even one.

KS Chakravarthy (Chax), National Creative Director, Draftfcb Ulka, questioned the whole idea of shooting underwater. He asked, “Beautifully shot, but why underwater? It almost looks like there was absolutely nothing about the car that was worth talking about, so someone decided a very expensive gimmick was the answer. Unfortunately, you tend to wait for that zinger of a punch line that will tie it all up – and you get a non sequitur like ‘Got Heart’. When Nirma did the underwater ballet, one could see the logic – in many ways, the song (and dance) is the brand, so setting it in an entirely new context had some logic (though I didn’t think that achieved the ‘Wow’ effect, either). In this case, it just leaves me perplexed. Stars: 2.5/5

Amer Jaleel, NCD, Lowe Lintas, echoed Chax and said, “Quite deep, but in falsafa (philosophical) terms. The idea that the car is for people who are as passionate as the carmakers takes some time to surface. So, basically a bit difficult to figure why they shot it underwater.”

KV Sridhar aka Pops declared that the commercial looked different and was attention grabbing for sure, but failed to connect what he was seeing and hearing. He explained, “Underwater gets you interested, but unfortunately you lose interest quickly as you see no relevance of what you are seeing and hearing; for instance, when Lenovo talks about ‘Doers’ and their mindset, I understand the relevance of people working at midnights and at isolated places and the demand for a workaholic machine. Here, I fail to get the connection of you wanting to go for deep sea diving and the drowning car. Bill Bernbach once said, ‘You can show a man upside down to get the attention, but it would be rewarding if you show that to demonstrate the shirt pocket's button’.” Stars: 2.5/5

Prathap Suthan, Chief Creative Officer, iYogi, felt that the breakaway of the ad from traditional automobile advertising might not pay back to Fiat. He explained, “The first thing about automobile advertising is that it needs to vicariously transport the viewer into the car and give second hand experience of how you would feel while driving the car. Or what would happen if you drive that car. This TVC's viewers wouldn't get it. If you see from the psyche of a consumer, a car is the second most expensive thing after a home he/she would buy, and one needs to experience that feeling. This TVC lacks an emotional hook, not to mention a human touch. In terms of production as well, a lot more could be done. Fiat is a renowned brand; they make cars which are well engineered and tough. But in terms of advertising, they have experimented with their positioning way too much and will have left consumers without finding slots in their heads. In this TVC, too, they have shown two cars in one ad - two birds with a stone, but that will leave none registered. Sad efforts. Dunked in water.” Stars: 1/5

Our take:
The film is a visual spectacle and keeps one glued to see the process of making of the car under water. The film has a passionate feel to it which binds well with the message of ‘the passion that goes into making a Fiat.’ However, one does not experience the cars’ full throttle as more than half of the time goes into showing the making of the car. There is just one shot which shows the interiors of the car, which is very important for a car buyer. Whether the surreal spectacle suffices for the real experience, we will have to see. As for now, we give it a 3 on 5.

Credits:
Agency: Saints and Warriors Communications
Team: Sartaj Jaffri, Shrenik Chheda, Pratim Putatunda
Production House: OMG
Director: Timo Schaedel

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