Fiat outperforms category with ‘strong’ branding score for ‘Operation No Grey’ ad

This is the Italian car manufacturer’s “best-ever” ad, according to data from System1, which puts it in the top 5% for all UK car ads.

Fiat’s latest brand building advertisement has been lauded by many in the industry but is also resonating with the public, soaring into the top 5% of UK car ads with the potential to rise even further, according to data seen by Marketing Week.

Created by Leo Burnett Italia, ‘Operation No Grey’ is an ode to colour and Fiat’s home nation of Italy. During the two-minute ad, the car manufacturer reveals it will no longer produce grey cars, doing so with the help of a rather large tin of orange paint and a very game CEO.

But as well as impressing marketers, it is landing well with the public too. System1 analysis shows the advert receives a ‘strong’ 3.6 star rating from audiences, far higher than the average score of 2.4 stars usually seen in the category.

It also performs well on its potential to drive short-term sales, scoring an ‘exceptional’ 1.34 spike score, higher than the category average of 1.04.

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Jon Evans, chief customer officer at System1, believes the ad is “easily the best we’ve seen from Fiat” and has the potential to be even better. Its rating is good enough to put it in the top 30 car ads in the UK (out of 806).

The only thing stopping it from competing with the most famous ads in the automotive category is its long length, with Evans suggesting this is “the main thing holding it back”. If Fiat gets its shorter edits right, he believes it has the potential to overtake the top three ads in the category – Volvo Trucks (4.4 stars), Honda Cog (4.6) and Skoda Cake (5.8). “Those are very famous ads and Fiat could certainly be up there,” he adds.

Fiat’s ad is, however, the top-scoring 90-second-plus car ad that System1 has ever analysed.

He elaborated further in a LinkedIn post, saying: “Given what a beautiful advert this is that [3.6 rating] almost feels like a disappointment. A beautifully shot two-minute film will impress us, and no doubt a few awards juries, but in the real world the best length of an ad is, yep you guessed it, 30 seconds.”

Once that 30-second edit is made, however, he believes there’s every chance we could have a “5-star ad on our hands”. A real rarity in the car manufacturing category.

Study finds ad effectiveness does not ‘wear-out’ over timeThe advert has been widely praised in the marketing community as a great example of brand building from Fiat in a category not always know for it.

Marketing Week columnist Mark Ritson heaped praise on the ad on LinkedIn declaring it “fabulous work” that showcases five important aspects of brand building. He says the ad is about “differentiation” and how Fiat is “Italian, fun, optimistic and passionate”.

He continued: “Morons will point out that none of these things are unique to Fiat. True. But differentiation is not about finding unique aspects of your product or brand. It’s about relative differentiation. About having more of it than your competitors.”

He closed off his thoughts stating: “We are Fiat. We are Italian. And we are back.”