Here’s the 2-minute ‘fascination’ video for the new Alfa Romeo 4C.
The big question – Hot or not?
The other big question – will an ad like this kick-start interest in the USA?
The Alfa Romeo 4C is almost an excruciatingly beautiful car. Actually, you could rightly say that’s both excruciating and beautiful. Its acute case of bug-eye is the excruciating bit and if they could fix that, the Alfa Romeo 4C might just be the most beautiful car of 2013/4.
Alfa Romeo is struggling. Some would say it’s hereditary. Parent company, Fiat, is only as buoyant as it is because of it’s American assets. Fiat’s own model sales are struggling thanks to economic conditions in Europe. Alfa Romeo’s sales have been falling for years, despite the perceived adequacies of the MiTo and Giulietta.
Falling how far?
According to Wards Autos, Alfa’s sales in the European Union totalled around 201,000 back in 2001. Last year, they sold just 89,000 in the same market – and it bears mentioning that the EU has grown from 15 countries in 2001 to 27 countries in 2012.
There are two things that are going to be crucial to Alfa Romeo’s future. The first is their model range. The Alfa Romeo 4C is a beautiful car but it’s also a two-seater sports car. It’s an aspirational flagship but it’s not a breadwinner. Alfa Romeo have to come up with a full range to compliment it.
The second crucial element for Alfa’s future is the United States market. The 4C is Alfa Romeo’s spearhead for re-launching the Alfa Romeo brand in the United States. It’s rumoured to be priced somewhere between $50K and $60K but I think you can count on it being at the northern end of that price range. With around 200hp propelling a vehicle less than 900kg, it should justify its Caymanesque price.
The US angle is probably the main reason why the video above was shot the way it was.
I wasn’t inspired. Let’s just say it’s not particularly imaginative to shoot a car going fast in the desert. The garage at the end was a nice touch but for me, if you’re selling Alfa Romeo, I’d rather see the car zooming along the French Riviera a-la James Bond with that lineup of Alfa classics outside the Casino de Monte Carlo.
That’s Alfa Romeo for me.
Alfa Romeo still has a wonderful identity and DNA. There’s plenty of brand equity there but they still have to craft something modern that relates to the historic. You have to either leave it alone or back it up with something relevant. Alfa Romeo, for me, is about two things: grass roots performance and Italian design.
Just as I hoped Saab would continue to emphasise their Scandinavian origins, I hope Alfa Romeo continue to push their Italian heritage. It’s part of their story, part of the allure. As I sit here in Australia, I’m not overly interested in seeing a 4C driving across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I’m interested in seeing a 4C outside it’s home city of Modena.
What do you think….
- ….Should car ads stick to the car’s roots, or place the car in your own setting?
- ….Will Alfa Romeo succeed with the 4C, or do they need a whole bunch more?
- ….About car ads shot in a desert – still interesting, or been-there-done-that?