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How Fiat's "Tongue-in-Cheek" Data-Driven Creative Sold 26 Cars for Valentine's Day

How Fiat's "Tongue-in-Cheek" Data-Driven Creative Sold 26 Cars for Valentine's Day

To celebrate Valentine's Day, car maker Fiat commissioned Mullen Lowe and KR Media to develop a fun, tongue-in-cheek digital brand campaign to launch its new Fiat 500, the company’s small three-door offering, in France.


The campaign was initially developed as a branding exercise to create buzz and encourage potential customers to engage and share the digital content around the car launch. However, Mullen Lowe saw the opportunity to take it one step further by combining branding goals with a direct performance objective.

The campaign took inspiration from the cheeky, irreverent brand values of French perfume brand, La Petite Robe Noire, by tapping into an audience of young women not scared of asking for more than a dozen roses from their Valentine. At the heart of the campaign was a bullish call to action – the request for their significant other to buy them the ultimate Valentine's Day present - a new car.

This modern approach to a brand campaign demanded not only a provocative creative, but also an innovative approach to the technology available to drive results.


For the campaign, Mullen Lowe teamed up with ad tech provider ADventori, which delivered the data-driven creative ad serving platform. This gave the team the opportunity to develop a highly personalised and targeted campaign. Messages were combined with creative-led, dynamic techniques, which resulted in every recipient receiving their own, fully-personalised digital ads.

The campaign actively sought participation of its audience, encouraging it to submit information which would then be sent to a partner of their choosing, thus ‘opting in’ to receiving Fiat’s messages. In return, each partner would then get a unique advertising message.

It was a unique approach, because it took many of the sharing and participatory aspects familiar to social media campaigns, and found a way to realise them through digital display ads across the web.


The campaign began by initially targeting women who had shown interest in the Fiat 500 car ahead of the launch. They were shown ads which encouraged them to visit the Fiat 500 website, where they could find further information. With Valentine's Day approaching, the campaign focused on what most of those in a relationship thought about – what gift they will buy and receive. Upon visiting the website, each woman was invited to enlist Fiat’s help persuading their partners to buy them the “ultimate Valentine's present” – a brand new car.

Participants were invited to enter their partner’s email address, a pet nickname they used, a personal message and a picture of themselves. The additional information was then used to deliver a creative, personalised campaign to each of the women’s partners.

First, they were sent an email to provide consent to be involved in the campaign. Following this, ADventori’s technology could feed the right message as they browsed the internet, with a series of creative ads for the Fiat car. Each ad was specific to the targeted individual, including images of their partner who had submitted the information, plus pet names and the previously supplied message.

With such a personalised campaign, it was also vital to protect all the consumers’ privacy. For this reason, the campaign was done as a strictly “opt in” exercise.

In addition, the ADventori's solution ensured privacy by keeping all customers' personal information in a cookie stored on their device. This ensured that there was no need for ADventori or Fiat to store any personal data, guaranteeing privacy. It also gave the consumer full control to opt out of the campaign as they could delete the cookie at any time.


From a brand perspective, this tactical campaign performed strongly, with 3,800 men being retargeted with one-to-one personalised ads. It was in driving performance objectives, however, that the campaign really excelled. It attracted 237 consumers to the Fiat 500 website and secured an incredible 26 car pre-orders from men who were being tracked in just the first week of the campaign.

This was a perfect example of creativity fuelling a higher level of performance. It combined the creative flare of an advertising agency given permission to let loose and experiment with state-of-the-art technology which could bring their ideas to reality. It was technology that helped facilitate the creativity rather than guide it, and as a result delivered a memorable campaign with which outperformed all expectations.

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