Fiat’s Brazilian test drive

Aegis-owned AgenciaClick, Sao Paulo, won a cyber gold at the Wave Festival in Rio last week. It was for an anti-drink drive banner campaign for Fiat – but it wasn’t the work the agency was most proud of.
Ricardo Figueira, VP creative director for Isobar Latin America, told me about a “virtual test drive” for its five year old client that sounded a lot of fun – and effective.
Bang on target for its 20-something audience, the online campaign offers the chance for up to five people to “get inside” a Fiat Punto and embark on a virtual test drive.
Using web cams, everyone in the car is able to see each other and converse during the three to four minute ride. Not only that, text messages to passengers’ mobile phones are broadcast out loud for others to hear, causing much hilarity and prank-playing among friends, Figueira says.
Naturally, Fiat also texts its own messages into the car (having accessed mobile numbers via the online registration process), giving more information about the vehicle.
In the first month, the number of “cars” running at any one time reached 2,000, carrying 5,000 people. Impressive.
Riders are also offered a voucher to win a Punto when entered in a draw at a dealership – a mechanic that reveals 70 per cent of people who have so far requested real test drives at dealerships have taken the virtual drive. And that’s the real test.
The campaign launched the Punto in Brazil at the end of last year and “Punto. You are in command” picked up a cyber silver at Wave. It’s much more of a full internet experience” than the gold-winning banner campaign – but inevitably less emotional than one which drives a life-saving message.
You can attempt the drive at
Would it get anywhere at Cannes?

  • George Parker


    I can only address it from the US POV, where the BDA’s (Big Dumb Agencies) think they can buy digital expertise, either through acquisition or hiring. The problem is that Agency management still doesn’t understand how the landscape has changed so quickly. It’s like so many times in the past when a BDA’s decides to bring in a hot CD from a hot shop for a lot of money because they want to upgrade their creative product… But nothing else changes. The new CD is expected to create miracles, but has no support from the entrenched management structure who’s primary interest is maintaining the status quo. The same is true of the much professed commitment to the new digital world. The other factor is that the cost structure of the BDA and the conglomerate it belongs to, dictate that the client should pay through the nose, as they have done in the past. Within ten years smart clients will achieve all their advertising and communications needs through an in-house digital staff, Kinkos and Google. I’ll explain more over a drink at the Brand Republic do on the 31st!


  • Duncan James

    I agree George. Or maybe an organisation that works with clients on impartial marketing strategy, in a business context but with high creativity and allowing flexible access to the right executional skills only as and when needed. Good thing is the BDAs don’t have the skills, organisational structure or correct P&Ls to do this and their ‘landgrab’ of ‘media’ then ‘digital’ has just resulted in internal silos and talent migrating away when bought.

    Anomoly have made a start but watch this space.

    Did you go to PSFK in either NY or London?

  • Ricky

    Dear BDA, the market is shifting. Are you?

    Are they merely making it easier for smaller, nimbler entities to arise? Organizations that may see the writing on the wall.

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