Saturday, September 26, 2015

Can The Pope Lift FIAT's Ailing Sales?


In the world of advertising, the folks over at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles couldn't have stroked a check larger enough to pay for all of the free mentions they received this week as it relates to both the Fiat and Jeep brands -- since Pope Francis' arrival in the United States. 

While Pope Francis could have been the nudge the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, needed to resign, will the 'Heavenly One' be able to lift the Italian brand ailing sales? Through the first eight months of the year, sales for the brand are down 12 percent, when compared to the same period last year. 

Ironically, a few years ago Jennifer Lopez was hired to serve as the brand's ambassador. Most brands yearn to be associated with the entertainment and fashion industry. Unfortunately, for the average consumer, it was hard to believe that Lopez would be tooling around town in a quirky looking Fiat. 


However, Fiat may have turned a corner this time, having the perfect unexpected ambassador for the brand, the Pope! The risk is that most brands are somewhat reluctant about making a connection to the faith community. Yet, with all of the positive things associates with this Pope, this could be the jolt the brand needs. Frugalness, affordability and humbleness could be the new marketing themes for Fiat.

To check out NPR's recent feature story related to the Pope, Fiat and symbolism, click here.

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