Auto Win-Win? New Global Fiat Spot Features Diddy And Pharrell’s ‘Happy’

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February 13, 2014 ‐ By Ann Brown
A still from the new Fiat commercial.

A still from the new Fiat commercial.

Fiat is tapping into urban music once again for its latest ad campaign.

In 2011, Fiat commercials featured JLo and in 2013 the company used Pitbull and Arianna singing “Sexy People” to sell its cars.

Today, Fiat will premiere a new spot titled “Mirage” featuring  Pharrell Williams’ hit song “Happy.” But you could call it the Sean “Diddy” Combs spot. He’s in the commercial promoting not only the new four-door Fiat 500L but also his own Aquahydrate “performance water” (a joint venture with Mark Wahlberg) and his new cable TV network Revolt.

To start, Diddy pulls up with two 500L Fiats and “Happy” pumping from the sound system. Diddy offers them a bottle of Aquahydrate, but the two guys think it is all just a mirage. Finally, they come upon an oasis where a party is happening. They’re greeted by a huge banner that reads “Revolt” and Diddy, again, offers them water. But unconvinced they still think it’s a mirage — because Fiat only makes two-door cars.

Chrysler chief marketing officer Olivier Francois calls the ad a “triangulation of brands.”

“Fiat could never write a check for an appearance from Diddy,” Francois said. “But we are able to offer something instead. The connection. The exposure. The triangulation of brands. Is it product placement?  Of course it is. It’s Diddy’s products in our ad. But it makes as much sense as water in the desert. And in return, we get something unique. Him.”

Fiat licensed the rights to “Happy” for worldwide use.

“Happy,” which is also featured on the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack album and is nominated for an Oscar, is No. 8 on Billboard‘s Hot 100. Francois heard the track early on in the process, when Williams invited him to the studio to listen to new material for possible collaborations down the line.

“There was one song that stuck in my head: ‘Happy,’” said Francois at Midem. “That song and the Fiat brand were a match made in heaven.”

“Music is the connector between us, the artist and another story,” Francois added.

Watch the spot below:

[h/t Billboard]

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