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Fiat “Neighbors” wraps with final webisodes

by Bill Cawthon on

Neighbors2-Web
Since the brand’s return to the U.S. market, Fiat ads have been been distinctive and sometimes even edgy. The Abarth “Italian Woman” spot featuring supermodel Catrinel Menghia and Matthew Rocheleau and the “Bridesmaids” commercial for the Fiat 500L provoked some controversy.

Fiat and ad agency Doner teamed up with comedy website Funny or Die to create a five-webisode series promoting the Fiat 500L.The series, which debuted last month, follows the interactions of a suburban couple as they meet and interact with their new Italian neighbors in a series of misadventures.

“The FIAT brand’s playful personality and Italian heritage give us license to find new ways to tell our brand story. Partnering with Funny Or Die, which has a huge built-in fan base and social media following, has proven to be a winning formula for us,” said Olivier Francois, Chrysler’s chief marketing officer and the head of the Fiat brand. “The reaction to our ‘Backseat Italians’ video proved the power of great content and a passionate fan base that Funny Or Die brings to the partnership. Since the launch of this latest series of videos, we’ve seen an uptick in web traffic, and this deeper engagement with our brand ultimately leads to FIAT Studio visits.”

The series begins with “The New Neighbors Are So … Italian,” when a middle-age suburban couple first encounters young and stylish Italians moving in to the house next door. The series follows the two couples through a series of four additional episodes: “Espress Lane to Trouble” proves that overdosing on espresso is no way to impress the cool, new Italian neighbor; “Spanking” demonstrates that the threat of being punished by a beautiful woman somehow does nothing to stop the neighborhood boys’ bad behavior; “Gluten Free” brings the American couple over for dinner at the Italian neighbor’s home; and finally, “When in Rome” leaves everyone lost in translation when a figure of speech leads to a big misunderstanding.

The final two episodes began airing this week on Funny Or Die and they can be viewed at www.funnyordie.com/fiat.

Viewers of “Neighbors” can follow along and join in the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #italianneighbors.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for just-auto.com, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.


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