The Fiat 500 and the communication behind it. By Daniele Capozucca

Fiat 500 IMCAfter a break of 3 weeks, I’m back again. This time I want to share with you an amazing work made by my Italian friend, Daniele Capozucca following his studies of Economics and Management in Bocconi University in Milan. He is a close fan of the group so he decided to do his thesis about the Integrated Marketing Communication plan for the Fiat 500 in Europe and America. He investigated about the way Fiat conceived the 500, the ideas that came across during the process up to the presentation of the Trepiuno concept in Geneva 2004. Then, Daniele makes a close analysis of the several communication campaigns that Fiat made in Italy before, during, and after the official presentation of the 500 in July 2007 in Turin. I was surprised by the big quantity of events the brand organized during those years and the big impact they had the sales volume, and the awareness and visibility of the brand. The good thing is that it was pretty much the same in other European countries.

Fiat 500 IMC 2After the big success in Europe, Daniele explains how Fiat managed to introduce the small city-car in USA. All the strategies they had to consider in order to find a place for the 500 in a market dominated by big trucks. The thesis talks about the initial activities that didn’t result in big sales, and the following advertising campaigns that finally helped the 500 to be recognized as a chic Italian icon that Americans could drive. To have a closer approach to the success of the 500, he visited Fiat Headquarters in Turin and had an interview with Marco Favilli, Fiat 500 product planner. Favilli explained the importance of the 500 for Fiat brand, and the future strategies they will consider in order to expand its success.

Fiat 500 IMC 3Daniele Capozucca was born in Brianza, close to Milan. He studied Economics and Management in Bocconi University, and he had the opportunity to have an internship in Cavauto, an American cars dealership in Monza. He will soon start a specialization in Marketing at the same university. His passion for cars (Fiat Group) and photography took him to write his thesis about the Fiat 500, and take the very first pictures of the Alfa Romeo 159 prototype at Pininfarina studios back in 2004. Thanks for sharing your thesis Daniele.

Some keypoints I found in the thesis:

  • Since 2006, Fiat started the campaign ‘500 wants you’ in which internet users could personalize the concept (the Trepiuno) with many stickers. Some of them became optionals in the production model.
  • 'Fiat 500 wants you'During the presentation of the 500 in July 4th 2007 in Turin, the event had a 40% rating on Italian TV.
  • Lapo Elkan, one of Gianni Agnelli’s grand children, wanted the 500 to be a limited edition of only 500 units. He contributed a lot in this project, and part of the personalization program that exists now adays was conceived by him.
  • “The 500, along with the Panda, are two brands within the brand and will be the 2 pillars that will take the Italian car maker from a mainstream brand to concentrate on lower segments” Olivier François, head of Fiat brand.

You can find the complete thesis (in Italian) of Daniele Capozucca by clicking in the link below:

IMC Fiat 500 – tesi triennio (1)


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