Sporty, powerful…and tiny? FIAT was set to debut the gutsy 500 Abarth at the LA Auto Show and they needed to convince skeptical Americans that it could really perform.


Many Americans were unaware of FIAT’s Italian pedigree and racing heritage, due to the brand’s 27-year hiatus from the US market. So reintroducing the FIAT 500 Abarth meant finding a way to revive the storied history of European racing champion Carlo Abarth – and leveraging his mystique with attention-grabbing panache.



    A seductive digital campaign – supported by special Abarth racing events – was the key to bringing the excitement of the Abarth roaring to life.


It began with a bold teaser video about the “European bad boy” and former “outcast” that was coming to America – the FIAT 500 Abarth. The video drove people to a site where they could watch the unveiling of the Abarth live at the LA Auto Show. Over a two-day period, 300,000 people came to see what the automotive community was buzzing about, while our microsite captured the incredible energy and allowed for real-time reactions and discussions.

From there, we created a viral video that highlighted the edgy allure of the Abarth and spawned so much online chatter that FIAT used the video for their Super Bowl spot. After airing, it garnered nearly 10 million views on YouTube. Next, special racing events put American car bloggers behind the wheel of an Abarth on a professional racetrack. These respected gearheads then gave their own glowing reviews that built cred in ways traditional media simply couldn’t.

Finally, it was time for the Abarth to hit showrooms, which meant creating exhilarating content, including online videos featuring sexy, race car-loving models and a brand new website with gorgeous imagery. One especially immersive feature of the new site was our seven-camera interactive lap around a racetrack in an Abarth – which gave fans of “The Scorpion” a boost of adrenaline that left them clamoring for an actual test drive.



    The FIAT 500 Abarth digital campaign shook the foundations of traditional car branding. How do we know? Sales.


  • The FIAT 500 Abarth sold out before the cars ever made it to the dealership, and sales during the first month exceeded expectations by 380%.
  • Over 53,000 people signed up for FIAT 500 Abarth purchase information – 15 times more than the 3,500 Abarth vehicles available.
  • An impressive halo effect for the overall FIAT 500 brand was created with new monthly sales records posted in the US and a year-over-year gain of approximately 120%.
  • For about the same cost as one traditional TV spot, we brought the FIAT Abarth brand to life digitally and unleashed a new automotive legend.

    It’s true – we got a little revved up when the campaign was honored with a number of prestigious international awards.