You've read about and seen many CC5CM3 PSAs hyping the FIAT Club America national event -- here, on our Facebook page and in the threads created for my two favorite North American FIAT/ABARTH forums. There was the additional blog post to help push registration activity at FIAT 500 USA.com.
You may have come across the two articles that appeared on the FCA North America multi-media blog called Objects In The Mirror...
The twin articles, FIAT FreakOut Headed To Milwaukee and Advertising Goes Retro For FIAT FreakOut 2017, were written by Edward Cardenas and constructed from an email exchange between us. Cardenas contacted the national club leaders as part of the corporate annual backing of the epic FIAT Famiglia event and developed a keen interest in the "PSAs" created, by yours truly, as part of our guerrilla marketing campaign.
We were pleasantly surprised to be contacted during the first few days of FreakOut regarding the possibility of covering the Road America "anchor" event. That coverage surfaced as a cool short shout on Classic Cars.com. But William Hall was not the only journalist in attendance. Todd Lassa, of Automobile Magazine also got his FreakOn in his longterm FIAT 500X. His six-page article made an appearance in print (the December issue of the magazine) as well as online (link included above).
So, what's all the hype about? Why do people pour so much energy into promoting this 34 years and going strong event?
My past years as a small press publisher of "underground" comics tell me it's due, in large part, to something we feel as "La Cosa Nostra" or "Our Thing". Is this meant to be some sort of play on words tying FIAT and ABARTH fans to the Sicilian mafia? No. It's more a comparison to that feeling we get when we discover something understood to few and misunderstood by the vast amount of others.
The FIAT and ABARTH brands have never quite planted their wheels on North American roads despite the fact the brands enjoy a rabid fanbase in South America and, of course, Europe. So, monthly local or annual national events around those brands raise a few eyebrows. To our delight... some of the raised eyebrows, in 2017, belonged to those in mainstream media. This is the highest profile hype the club has experienced.
Could this mark the elevation (and evolution), of FIAT and ABARTH marques, from mere unsung underground to ultra mainstream marketshare on our shores? Only time can tell but it seems as though the likelihood of such a thing is more pipe dream than possibility.
FIAT and ABARTH will likely always belong to the true believers. That stated... It's nice to see some positive press in a six-page spread of a major domestic magazine. We embrace it and aim to capitalize on it with a more aggressive approach to promoting (local, national) clubs and events via consistent and entertaining online presence.