Movie tie-ins for a major brand are of course nothing new, but the recent promotional campaign for the Fiat 500L uses an interesting tactic that marketing professionals might see as a form of self-deprecation. It's a crossover for the upcoming Godzilla reboot film set to appear in theaters later this month.
In the 46-second ad, the famous monster is shown picking up several Fiats and throwing them into his mouth, devouring them like candy. However, the bit ends with him unable to swallow a yellow Fiat, whose passengers we see screaming for their lives as the car drives out of the giant creature's jaws.
The premise does allow the car company to display its vehicles front and center, but it makes a curious association by showing the cars being eaten. Even though the car at the end of the commercial escapes, demonstrating its size and superiority, the viewer has also seen the product be destroyed before this happens.
On the other hand, the tie-in does represent a major target for the brand, and its likely that this will increase exposure of the company itself. The fact that the cars are being eaten by Godzilla does play into the strange concern that has been circulating around the creature's increased weight in this new film: the Hollywood Reporter featured quotes from many Japanese fans who think that the newest incarnation of Godzilla is "too fat" in design.
Whether or not this piece of pop advertising fuels those flames and makes both the movie and the Fiat successful because of it, this combination shows an odd marriage between different brands. Companies should be careful when designing their ads so that the product is always in a good light.