Comedian W.C. Fields famously coined the saying, “Never work with animals or children”, but it seems the opposite is true for advertising. Seven of the Top Ten Automotive Ads of all time feature either kids, animals or both.

But it was Toyota’s ‘Swagger Wagon’ that took the distinctly uncool Sienna MPV, combined it with a Mom and Dad with ‘swagger’ and created a 12 million view viral sensation.

Fiat would like a piece of the same pie, taking its new family-friendly 500L and serving up a fun but painfully honest portrayal of motherhood.

Toyota-Swagger-WagonToyota’s 2010 Swagger Wagon ad produced by Saatchi & Saatchi LA, has climbed to 12,272,214 views with a social power index of 9.48% (based on 1,162,815 social shares).

It’s a clever piece of product marketing – empathise with the maternal challenge of bringing up kids, while showing a funky Fiat 500 adding a bit of style to the routine of a mother’s day. In doing so, Fiat have shown a willingness to connect with the female demographic in a way that ‘keeps it real’ and believable.

The film was inspired by comments made by real mothers taking part in Fiat’s customer research groups, who expressed their desire to retain a sense of style amidst the practical needs of a modern family.

Some might question whether the 500L will really appeal to style-conscious young families – it’s substantially bigger than the 500 hatchback with five doors, 400 litres of boot space and very little in common with its namesake apart from its range of TwinAir and MultiJet engines.

It’s also a tad on the pricey side, starting at £14,990 OTR for the 1.4 Pop Star (yuk!) rising to £18,890 OTR for the 1.6 MultiJet Lounge.

Fiat’s new ad is performing well, reaching 500,000 views in less than a week with a social power index of 7.78% (based on a total of 38,947 shares). Whether Fiat’s 500L will fare quite as well, we have our doubts, prior to the release of the ad there was very little social reaction to the 500L (mostly because nobody knew it existed), but according to Brandwatch’s social media monitoring platform the number of conversations has jumped to 1735 in the past 8 days.

The challenge now for Fiat, will be steering these conversations away from the ad and encouraging positive comments about the car.

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