We’re celebrating a birthday this week. That’s right, it’s the anniversary of the good ol’ US of A’s independence. It’s a celebratory time when Americans get together and share a strong national ethos of patriotism. It’s a time for questions like, hot dogs or hamburgers, where to see the fireworks and whether or not to take Friday off from work.
But while I was pondering these important questions along with the rest of the nation, something interesting on TV caught my eye. Between all those insanely annoying 4th of July discount mattress spots, the Fiat commercial got me to rewind, watch again and really think about what I had just seen.
Let me quickly remind you that Fiat was reintroduced back into the U.S. in 2010. They adopted the course of using celebrities as a shortcut to popularity, showing us people like Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull and even Charlie Sheen (which was either a genius or half-witted decision). And while it’s evident that they’re trying to capture the attention of Millennials, with those spokespeople, they’re clearly struggling to find their image and what they stand for.
Fiat’s latest, very strategically timed commercial, portrays Paul Revere galloping through town exclaiming to the townspeople that it’s not the British, but the Italians who are coming. What a revolution for Fiat! They’ve finally embraced where they come from and courageously flaunted it at a time when the nation is being inundated with Americana. They’re leveraging their Italian auto ingenuity and sleek designs.
This leads me to the point that a brand’s identity needs to be authentic and believable. It grows from the foundation and the soul of a company. Shifts in identity can occur over time, but they should always stem from a core truth.
Fiat’s relaunch into such an important market, has inevitably faced its fair share of challenges. But it seems as if they’ve finally done some deep soul searching to get the brand right. It’ll be interesting to see if Fiat can stay on brand, as well as Americans’ reaction to the Italian “invasion.”
Check out the commercial here.