Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CMO Olivier Francois is anxiously awaiting what will be an Emmy show like no other.
Jeep’s “Groundhog Day” Super Bowl spot featuring Bill Murray is one of the finalists for a Creative Arts Emmy. The spot was created by Highdive Advertsing with O Positive.
The audience-less show will be telecast on FXX at 8 p.m. ET Saturday.
Other nominees are "Back-to-School Essentials” for client Sandy Hook Promise, created by BBDO New York and Smuggler; "Before Alexa” for Amazon, created by Droga 5 London and Somesuch x Revolver/Will O’Rourke; “Bounce" for Apple AirPods, created by TBWA\Media Arts Lab with Pulse Films; and "The Look,” for client P&G, created by Saturday Morning with Stink Films.
It is FCA’s third Emmy nomination and would be its second win, following “Born of Fire,” the 2011 Super Bowl spot featuring Eminem from Wieden+Kennedy that won the category. “Halftime in America,” the 2012 Super Bowl spot featuring Clint Eastwood, also from Wieden+Kennedy, was also nominated.
Getting Murray for the spot was a huge coup, since the actor is famously unreachable. “Groundhog Day” has been notable from the get-go, having won USA Today’s Ad Meter.
“A nomination is only ...well... a nomination, so let’s see what the verdict will be,” Francois tells Marketing Daily. “I like to look at it as an indication that the creative resonated with consumers and with the industry, a confirmation that FCA’s marketing keeps leading the way in the automotive, nine years after our first big splash.”
Of course, Francois admits he would “love” to win the award.
“Not for me -- the award won’t get me any bonus -- not even for Jeep -- an award doesn’t sell cars -- but really... for Bill,” Francois says. “This was, according to his own words, ‘his first and last commercial’ ever, and to get it done I had to commit in any possible way that somehow our collaboration would make history. Well, winning the Emmy would certainly be a nice way to hold to my promise.”
Francois has not spoken to Murray about the nomination.
“I don’t feel the right to play with his expectations and disappoint if we lose,” he says. “But if we win I’ll definitely reach out -- and, why not, suggest to shoot a followup to the ‘first and last BM commercial ever.’”
Francois first learned of the nomination on July 30 when he was in Turin, Italy shooting a promotional video for the all-electric Fiat 500 in which he is featured. He says he immediately posted the news of the nomination on his Instagram account, “which is the ultimate expression of excitement,” he says.
Speaking of Instagram, Francois was photographed with Bono recently. Might he charm the rock star to be a part of his next big campaign? Francois politely declined to comment.
If he wins, he won’t be adding it to his awards shelf at home, because there is none.
“I didn’t even realize there was a material award, an object,” Francois says. “I guess that these trophies, if any, are on display in the lobby of our agencies, as the agency folks are more likely to expense a trip to Cannes or to New York City or LA than a regular car guy. But hey, if you know how to get a replica, I’d be interested. It would actually look cool on the shelf of my office.”
Francois is in Europe currently and the virtual telecast begins at 2 a.m. local time, “but I’ll surely keep an eye on the phone because — to share a little secret with you — we have planned a nice social stunt for the next morning, and the creative idea depends obviously whether we win or not, so I am pretty sure that the team will ping me that night to take directions.”