Fiat drives its winning innovation forward

Fiat has not rested on its laurels after driving off with the Marketing Week Engage Award Brand Innovator trophy for its eco:Drive campaign.

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The campaign taught owners how to drive more efficiently via Eco:Drive software that could be downloaded from a computer, saved to a memory stick and then plugged into the customer’s Fiat.

Data from the journey is recorded, sent to a server in Milan, processed through a system of complex algorithms and presented to the customer via their PC with easy-to-understand facts, figures and personalised tutorials.

Since winning the award, Fiat has worked to make eco:Drive even more relevant to drivers. Part of this is by allowing people to transfer their drive date to the cloud via their smartphone, meaning that they do not have to keep ferrying the USB from their car to computer. Another step is transform eco:Drive into a social experience.

Brane Bosancic, corporate marketing manager of Fiat Group UK, explains: “A key to why eco:Drive is so well received is that it transforms the everyday driving into a challenge. It gives drivers the thrill of competition and thereby turns a boring everyday routine into a game. Until now, however, eco:Drive users could only compete against themselves but the next step is to allow them to compete against each other.

“We will allow eco:Drive users to connect to Facebook to find others in their country and region. Our vision is to create the first social network that is based on driving. Similarly to how Foursquare has ‘gamified’ going out we want to gamify ‘driving about’.”

In line with the general strategy of turning eco:Drive into a social experience, Fiat has also intensified its efforts in the social space. Bosancic says: “We know that the best way to promote eco:Drive is to motivate current users to become advocates and tell their friends and families. By allowing users to compare themselves with others, by aggregating the data to provide a global overview of eco:Driving styles all across the world, and by publishing a report on eco:Driving we are creating content for conversation that enhances the fame and buzz around the application.”

Bosancic says: “Eco:Drive has already picked up a huge number of creative awards which we are exceptionally proud of. Winning the Marketing Week Engage Award however brought a new level of acknowledgement to the whole project and team.

“It not only substantiated the fact that eco:Drive is a great idea and lovely execution but that it actually works for the consumers, brand, society and Fiat business. It provided proof that eco:Drive isn’t just a digital gimmick but an effective solution to an environmental and business challenge.”

Bosancic advices those entering the Engage Awards this year to think about what new, original insights there are for the marketing and advertising community. He says: “There are many projects that are interesting, highly creative and effective, but at the end of the day, the winning cases will be those that have told the reader something he didn’t know before.”

The Brand Innovator category is sponsored by Reckitt Benckiser and if you can demonstrate a sweeping success in innovation then make sure you enter the Marketing Week Engage Awards 2012 category – just click here.

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