Fiat has ended its tie-up with a couple of its ad agencies a few weeks into the launch of its first national TV campaign in the U.S., putting a strain on its goal to raise brand awareness in the U.S. Fiat said last week that it is terminating its relationship with its main advertising agency, Impatto Custom Marketing of suburban Detroit, and its digital agency, 72andsunny of Santa Monica, Calif.
Fiat clarified that the decisions to end the contracts of these two agencies are not related. Impatto’s departure coincides with the start of airing of Fiat’s national TV commercials.
The Fiat 500 has started to arrive in dealerships in volume last March, says Autonews. Since then, dealers had been asking for national advertising. Fiat said that it has to wait until its number of stores reaches a certain figure.
However, the pace of dealerships’ openings hasn’t been as quick as expected. Olivier Francois, chief creative officer for all of Fiat Auto brand and Chrysler brands around the globe, told Advertising Age that the problem isn’t the car because “people love the car.”
Instead, the problem is related to awareness, which he thinks is improving now due to Fiat’s two commercials that are currently airing. One of these ads features Jennifer Lopez. Last August, the first full month of the commercials, Fiat’s U.S. sales had reached the same levels as that of Mini, the standard for premium small European cars in the U.S.