Chrysler's Fiat brand, which launched this year with marketing efforts in the U.S. to tout the 500 car with ads featuring Jennifer Lopez and grassroots events around the country, is heading to Las Vegas. The division is promoting the 500 at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) annual convention as an after-market accessorizing machine for Chrysler's Mopar.
Unlike the big automotive shows, the yearly SEMA confab is closed to the general public -- it's an industry event -- but the automaker is tying its participation in the show to a social-media campaign called SEMA Design Challenge wherein people can virtually customize a Fiat 500, then enter the design. The winner gets his or her design on display at the show, Nov. 1-4, and wins prizes.
Laura Soave, head of Fiat marketing, stated that the effort is meant to appeal to the brand's core consumer psychographic by identifying it with self-expression, inspiration and creativity.
Pietro Gorlier, president and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC's service, parts and customer-care brand, stated that Mopar now has about 150 accessories for the Fiat 500.
Participants download a vehicle-wrap template on www.facebook.com/fiatusa. They have until Oct. 5 to upload a design submission, with the top 10 designs appearing on the Facebook page. From there, Fiat social-media fans vote for the top three. All three will be featured on Fiat's stand at SEMA.
The SEMA show has grown year-over-year in terms of the number of participants. The organization says that last year's show brought over 50,000 domestic and international buyers and some 100,000 attendees.