In a rather unusually marketing campaign, employees of Italian automaker Fiat were subjected to a funny prank with the interest to promote sales of the company’s vehicles. Fiat in collaboration with a PR firm So Simple, wrapped employee cars that were made of others brands like Toyota, Volkswagen or Peugeot with a giant plastic bag. The plastic bag was then covered with a broken heart sign and text that said, “Seeing you with someone else breaks my heart. But we’re still thinking of you anyways.”
As befuddled employees pulled the plastic from their cars, members of the PR agency approached them with brochures outlining a 1000 Euro discount on Fiat cars apart from the standard employee discount ranging from 12 percent to 26 percent depending on the model, given to every employee. The marketing campaign comes as a sign of desperation for the company to sell its products in the country. Italy is suffering from an employment crisis with over 13 percent of the country’s people out of jobs in February, compared to the European Union average of 11.9 percent, whereas the sluggish economy has hampered the growth of the auto sector.
While the campaign could be termed as funny by some and desperate by others; it wasn’t taken in the best of humour by many. Considering the fact that Fiat is shifting its tax base to the UK and its legal set to Netherlands; the campaign felt discriminating towards employees with foreign cars. While automakers do provide generous discounts to its employees, the company by a long shot has gone a extra mile to woo its employees to sell its very own products; a first of its kind in the automotive world it seems.
Not all employees too seemed very happy about it, while others said they would consider the offer if they got a bigger discount on Fiat models. Employees of its American partner Chrysler need not stay vigilant regarding their cars, as the campaign was an Italy specific one. Earlier this month, Fiat also introduced the Punto and Panda Young Special Editions to improve the sales of the hatchbacks in its home country.