Spike Lee, Giancarlo Esposito Find 'Italy In America' For Fiat 500e

Stellantis has enlisted legendary actor and director Spike Lee and Emmy-nominated actor Giancarlo Esposito for an off-the-cuff effort for the Fiat 500e.

Lee and Esposito have known and worked with each other for more than 40 years, collaborating on numerous projects together, including “School Daze,” “Do The Right Thing,” “Mo' Better Blues” and “Malcolm X.”

Esposito, who is half Italian, helps Lee, who also directs the campaign, find his inner Italian. Dialogue was largely unscripted, says Olivier François, Stellantis global chief marketing officer.

“Digital and social are very content-intensive,” Francois tells Marketing Daily. “We need a lot of stuff. We cannot write everything. We cannot script everything. And it reminded me a little bit of the last time we had digital content going above and beyond every expectation -- with Will Ferrell when he was doing Ron Burgundy.”



There were 70 different spots featuring Ferrell as Burgundy, starring as the pitchman of the new 2014 Dodge Durango

The new campaign, created in partnership with Rosewood Creative agency, debuted May 1 with a 60-second online spot, “Italy in America” and will include more than a dozen creative elements featuring the duo across the brand’s social media channels.

It will run through summer and into fall.

“I think that if possible, I would like them to go back and do other [spots],” Francois says. 

The content highlights vehicle features such as the JBL Virtual Venues audio technology, LED “eye” headlights and  the “Hey Fiat” voice recognition feature.

The ease to park the small vehicle vs. a large SUV is also highlighted, and there’s a subtle dig at large SUVs like the Cadillac Escalade. The irony is that Lee has also been featured in Escalade creative and his ad agency, Spike DDB, continues to do work for Cadillac.

Two African American men might seem like unlikely pitchmen for a small electric vehicle, but they are both very stylish, and the car is aimed at consumers who appreciate style, Francois says. 

The vehicle, built at the historic Mirafiori factory in Turin, Italy, is available now across Fiat North America showrooms. It is Stellantis’ first battery-electric vehicle in North America.

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