2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

  • 2012 Fiat 500
  • 2012 Fiat 500

Chrysler set a hugely ambitious sales goal for the 2012 Fiat 500 here in the United States: 6,000 units per month. It shouldn't come as a surprise, then, to learn that early sales figures aren't exactly meeting expectations thus far, but according to Chrysler, this isn't by any fault of the car.

"I don't think we have a car problem; people love the car," Fiat chief marketing officer Oliver Francois said while speaking to Advertising Age. "I think we have an awareness problem."

Fiat has dumped its main advertising agency, Impatto, a small Southfield, Michigan-based firm that previously employed Laura Soave, who is now serving as Fiat's North American CEO. According to the report, Soave herself hired the Impatto back in January, and the ad industry rumormill has her on the hot seat for the failed relationship. How much fallout (if any) there will be from Fiat's advertising shakeup and the 500's underperforming launch remains to be seen.

Fiat's first attempt to market the 500 nationally on television has been with a recently launched music video-teasing spot starring Jennifer Lopez (view it after the jump), an effort that has been panned by many industry critics. And while company executives appear to bristle from the notion, Ad Age reports that celebrities have been essential to Fiat's brand strategy. In fact, the New York Post states that Fiat reportedly struck a deal with gossip TMZ in which the automaker would pay the website to photograph high-profile celebrities who were set up to drive the Fiat 500.

To date, Fiat has sold just 11,088 examples of the 500 range in the U.S., 3,106 of which were in August. And with new models like the Abarth not expected to arrive until next year, the 500 and 500C are the only offerings currently available. Head over to Ad Age to read the fascinating full report, and again, hit the jump to watch Fiat's television spot starring the voluptuous Jennifer Lopez.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 237 Comments
      bchreng
      • 3 Years Ago
      Somehow, after seeing that ad with JLO, I find myself a lot less interested in the 500.
      peteMT
      • 3 Years Ago
      Almost no dealerships, and that stupid ad with J-Lo? What are they expecting? You want to sell this car, get it out there. Like at your good old regular neighborhood Chrysler dealer. You want good ads? Show celebrities driving the car, not dancing. Get Rowan Atkinson in this thing, ripping through the urban decay of old Detroit and laughing like a maniac! How hard can it be? Did we learn nothing from the Brooke Shields/VW van tv campaign?
        emperor koku
        • 3 Years Ago
        @peteMT
        Agreed. My parents (mom loved the J-Lo ad) went to their local Chrysler dealer to check out the Fiat. Of course, it wasn't there. The nearest Fiat dealer is 60 miles away. They have to look at the car before they become serious, and they're not going to drive 60 miles just to look at a car.
          emperor koku
          • 3 Years Ago
          @emperor koku
          Er, agreed on the dealership part, not the ad part. Like I said, my mom loved the J-Lo ad, and that was the reason they went to look.
      Noz
      • 3 Years Ago
      An old GTI style commercial would do wonders for this car.
      ack154
      • 3 Years Ago
      The first commercial with the drive-in theater actually made sense. I thought it made a good first impression and highlighted the natural curiosity of an unfamiliar car now in the US. The JLo commercial makes me want to murder innocent ducks.
      SethG
      • 3 Years Ago
      I saw the recent JLo ad and thought, "here we go again." Chrysler marketing killed the ahead-of-it's time Pacifica with an ad campaign featuring Celine Dion. If a singer is 10 years or more past her prime, she should NOT be in your car ads. That said, the Fiat seems to be selling well in New York. I see them in the city all over the place
      withsixappeal
      • 3 Years Ago
      Horribly written article. It ignores that production problems delayed the roll-out by three months, there was a shortage of automatic transmission models for the the initial four months, and that dealers are opening at a slower rate than originially planned. Until then, it's alredy outselling the Mini Cooper.
      Peter
      • 3 Years Ago
      This sounds like a typical "inside" deal! Former employee gives former employer, who is hopelessly inept to do the job, a big job. And they both blow it. Big! They both have to go. Fiat needs some worldclass work here-get rid of J Lo, focus on how much fun the car is and show the frickin' car (racing in Europe and on the road), not a bunch of disco crap...God, my kid could have done better.
      stvrahn
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've only been interested in the Abarth, which still isn't here. If I like what I see, I may get one, because I don't pay any attention to what "celebrities" are doing.
      SFGiantsFan35
      • 3 Years Ago
      the 500 isn't a car I'd buy. I don't have anything against it, it just doesn't do anything for me. That JLo commercial doesn't do anything for me either. Its like, what the **** were they thinking? Its more like a JLo commercial and she happens to be driving a 500. You want marketing? Heard of Youtube? Make a contest... first 5 amateur commercials promoting the 500 with 500,000 likes win a 500. How easy is that? P.S. Call Disney & Pixar and tell you need Luigi to do a commercial... Ciao.
      nike2011
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is that a Bollywood ad?
      JW
      • 3 Years Ago
      They must all be in the DC metro area, because I see a ton of them around.
      shandelee5
      • 3 Years Ago
      All the FIAT 500 negative comments are from those who have not driven one. Its made well, performs very well, gets great mpg and is not expensive.
        cashsixeight
        • 3 Years Ago
        @shandelee5
        I think it's expensive. The sporty ones are 17k+. That is a lot of coin.
          gregmlr
          • 3 Years Ago
          @cashsixeight
          But it's still less than the base model Beetle and Mini Cooper.
          whatever
          • 3 Years Ago
          @cashsixeight
          you judge a car by its content and refinement cashsixeight.....not by its size. you can probably find a nice used hummer for 17K now....and get your moneys worth
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