Have you seen the Fiat mom rap commercial? It’s all over the media and has about three million views on YouTube. It’s full of controversial lyrics that reference topics like breast-feeding, faking orgasms and weight gain. Is it funny? Is it smart business? Is it necessary? The answers are yes, maybe, and no.
The commerical is addictive and worth multiple viewings. Yes, it is funny in its ability to poke fun at the very real daily trials of motherhood. Whether you are offended by it or not, you have to appreciate that it is clever and you will likely laugh at some of the lyrics. Fiat’s approach is fun and doesn’t take Fiat or motherhood too seriously.
Is it good business? It’s absolutely viral and breaking through the clutter of advertising messages both online and offline. In a post on Social Media Today this week, writer JD Rucker intelligently argues that it’s not smart business because it does not generate enough positive attribution to the Fiat brand.
In the spot, the car’s relevance to the rap is not clear. Mr. Rucker compares the commercial to its viral inspiration, Toyota’s “Swagger Wagon,” which was released three years ago. He notes that “Swagger Wagon” not only garnered viral attention, but the approach was smarter for business because the lyrics centered more around the experience with the car.
Fiat’s results may indicate that the attention was enough to boost sales. But from a long-term brand-building point of view, Mr. Rucker makes a valid point that the spot could do more to convey the benefits and positive experience of the brand. So is it good for business? Maybe; it depends on the metric and whether Fiat was simply trying to drive awareness or if they were also taking a long-term brand-building view.
From the perspective of motherhood, Toyota’s “Swagger Wagon” demonstrates that Fiat’s approach is not necessary. There is a different tone toward motherhood in Fiat and Toyota’s commercials. Fiat uses controversial topics and pokes fun specifically at moms. Toyota celebrates the family experience and the role the wagon plays in it. Both garnered massive attention.
So, Fiat, are your lyrics necessary? Toyota’s approach proves the answer is no. When given the choice, brands should celebrate motherhood instead of poking fun at it. Celebrating the experience is always more satisfying.
What do you think? Do moms have a responsibility to tell advertisers to portray motherhood a certain way?