Fiat Chrysler Automotive, the carmaker, boosted three of its brands using a “blitz” advertising strategy that was timed to coincide with the Super Bowl, but did not involve spots that actually ran during the big game itself.

Olivier François, CMO for Fiat Chrysler Automotive, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2019 Brand Masters Conference.

And he outlined how ads for Jeep, Ram, and Dodge tapped into the energy of America’s most popular sporting event at a reasonable price.

“We called it, ‘The Big-Game Blitz,’” he said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: How Fiat Chrysler played a different kind of game for a Super Bowl win.)

This approach was based on a seed-versus-harvest model. “You would first seed – or plant – a digital message. Maybe it’s a long-format spot. Maybe a director’s cut. Then you test it, refine it, and measure its performance,” François explained.

Harvesting – taking the refined message and placing it on more expensive media properties like network television – would follow only after the completion of the seeding process.

“We know TV works, particularly at the Super Bowl. It has been incredibly effective for us. It greatly helped us to grow our brands,” François said.

“But, today, our obligation is to keep [those brands] growing, and that’s a challenge that can only be met by prospecting for new customers.”

To that end, he continued, “you must chase different demographics with different messages.” That is often hard to achieve with high-priced Super Bowl ads. “But I definitely could do it on social and digital,” François said.

And the “blitz” of digitally-seeded ads for Jeep, Ram and for Dodge each generated many millions of views overall, as well as practical engagement data, without huge investment in broadcast airtime.

“At the end of the day, what did this experiment teach us? It taught us that what matters most is to have something to say. And, if you do, you can always find a place to say it,” François stated. “You don’t need a big game in order to change the game.”

Sourced from WARC