Fiat is launching an iPad app that is both a product catalogue and an arts and lifestyle journal -- kind of an animated, interactive coffee table book about Fiat and the latest emerging artists and trends.
The "Fiat Source" is free at iTunes and lets users study the Fiat 500 car from all angles and configurations with 360-degree images, video and specs. The app -- which is launching with a summer "issue" featuring profiles of a Detroit-based graffiti artist, a young professional photographer, an emerging graphic artist whose recent work included using a Fiat 500 as a canvas, and a member of the Austin, Texas, art collective Public School -- will remain live through Twitter feeds, artist blogs, and other social media connections.
It also has an interactive Fiat history timeline. Forthcoming issues will involve music entertainment, fashion, travel and art.
Josh Donnelly, who works in Fiat brand marketing, tells Marketing Daily that the goal was to create an app that wasn't a flash in the pan. "When we sat down with the creative team, my mission was to create an application that people want to open frequently," he says. "With lots of apps you open it once, have fun spinning the car around, you get what it's about, you close it and never have reason to open it again. The idea is to give our fan base -- the people interested in learning about Fiat -- a reason to want to open the application again and again."
According to Donnelly, the project was about three months in development from pre-production into post, with the brand idea as the fulcrum even for content about artists, travel, or whatever finds its way into its virtual pages in forthcoming issues. "It speaks to what Fiat is as a brand, not just as a product," he says. "[Fiat Source] lets you mold and shape the experience to be what you want it to be." He says about the assortment of artists appearing in the summer issue, "really also ties into the Fiat story, which is about appreciating well-defined craftsmanship and art."
Donnelly says that the onus isn't solely on Fiat to drum up buzz about the app, since the artists themselves are talking up the app through their own social networks. "What's really cool about leveraging these artists is we get to also interact with their communities," he says.
The artists are touting the project through their blogs and social networks, and Fiat will also distribute a video demo of the platform through its own channels, including Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
"Within the app we want to draw them back to our Web site, to Facebook and Twitter, which is content we are constantly updating, and we are toying around with incorporating different blog feeds directly into the app itself," says Donnelly.