Sleek Alfa Romeo Giulia the star of FCA Super Bowl ads
As the American demand for trucks and SUVs grows, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV decided to turn the attention of millions elsewhere by focusing on the sleek Alfa Romeo Giulia sedan in its trio of Super Bowl commercials.
"Some cars take your breath away," said a female voice-over in the company's third commercial, which aired in the fourth quarter on Sunday evening. "Only one gives it back."
The second spot had a female voice-over reading a farewell letter to "Predictable" from the new car. In the company's first and longest commercial Sunday, Fiat Chrysler tugged at dreams of flying, fast cars before showing the Giulia whipping through twists and turns.
The ads were more traditional than many of the company’s Super Bowl ads in the past; however, it’s not surprising that Fiat Chrysler would decide to air a Super Bowl spot for Alfa Romeo.
After several delays, the automaker has started selling the Alfa Romeo Giulia in the United States. The company has high hopes for the sedan, which will enter the world's largest luxury segment against German powerhouses Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
The midsize sedan is the first all-new product for the brand under a 5 billion euro ($5.5 billion-$6 billion) plan to grow the famed Italian brand globally and resurrect it in North America following a nearly 20-year hiatus.
Under the original plan, Alfa Romeo was expected to launch eight all-new products, including the Giulia and Stelvio SUV, by 2018. That plan was pushed back last year to mid-2020 by Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.
The high-performance Quadrifoglio version of the Giulia began arriving in dealerships toward the end of last year with a starting price of $72,000. Two other models — the entry-level Giulia and mid-level Giulia Ti — were scheduled to begin arriving in dealerships last month with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $37,995 and $39,995, respectively.
Fiat Chrysler has become known for its Super Bowl ads over the past six years, using celebrities such as rapper Eminem and actor Clint Eastwood. Its 2011 Emmy-winning, two-minute “Born of Fire” ad with Eminem for the Chrysler 200 debuted the “Imported From Detroit” tagline and in 2012 it ran the “Halftime in America” ad with Eastwood.
This is the second year in a row that Fiat Chrysler has decided to air multiple Super Bowl ads for one brand. Last year, the company aired two spots for its Jeep brand, as it celebrated its 75th anniversary and continued global expansion.
The most time the automaker has bought was four-and-a-half minutes in 2014 for three ads: “America’s Import” with Bob Dylan for the Chrysler 200; “Strike” for the Maserati Ghibli; and “Restlessness” for Jeep.
Two years ago the company aired commercials for the Fiat 500X, Jeep Renegade and Dodge brand. It was the first year no major celebrities were featured with any of the ads.
General Motors Co.’s Buick brand in Sunday’s game aired a 60-second commercial during the first quarter featuring the Encore and Cascada, plus Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and supermodel Miranda Kerr.
Ford Motor Co. showed a 90-second ad shortly before the kickoff that focuses on its mobility efforts. The ad featured frustrated people and even a cat “stuck” in different situations and shows some of Ford’s solutions, including a self-driving vehicle and ride-sharing option. “No one likes being stuck,” a voice-over says as videos of Ford tech efforts are displayed before an all-new Ford GT and self-driving car pop up. “That’s why Ford is developing new ways to help you move through life faster, easier, better.”
In last year’s game, nine automakers spent more than $86 million on advertising, according to market research firm Kantar Media. And Fiat Chrysler has been among the two largest spending advertisers in the Super Bowl in each of the past five years, the firm said.
The ads are expensive, with a 30-second ad in the 2016 game costing companies an average of $4.8 million, doubling in a decade, Kantar Media said. The average cost for a 30-second ad in this year’s game could top $5 million, according to estimates.
Kantar Media said the 2016 game included 49 minutes and 35 seconds of advertising or 96 commercials between kickoff and the end of the game, figures that have continued to grow over the last several years.
Fiat Chrysler’s ad spending last year tied for second place with PepsiCo Inc. at $19.2 million, Kantar Media said. In 2015, it spent $30.8 million, tying with Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Staff writers Melissa Burden and Michael Wayland contributed