Fiat looks to find the right 'balance of Italian' in its marketing with pop-up Underground granita bar

Auto brand Fiat is capitalising on London's current muggy spate of weather this week by moving into the world of granita – an Italian frozen dessert.

Its 'Fresh' installation popped up in Old Street Station on Tuesday (7 June), serving up ice cold treats to commuters heading to and from the Underground.

Those that visit the store can select one of six granita flavours – including pomegranate, apple and lemon – and order them by taking a photo of their 'menu' selection on the wall and posting it to either Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

The pop-up also showcases the brand’s new iteration of its 500 model, and with the social media/tech aspect of the experience has designed to reflect the new car’s technology.

“To communicate the refresh of the new 500, we thought what better way to do that than to pick the Underground, which typically in the summer is really quite sticky and hot,” said Toni Gaventa, Fiat’s brand communications manager. “We thought as people come out of the tube it would be nice to give them a fresh treat to celebrate the fresh new 500.”

While the granita is a traditional Italian dessert, that is pretty much as Italian as the pop-up gets, despite the brand’s strong heritage with the country and its tendency to play on such a message - perhaps due to a need to compete with its more cash-rich competitors.

“The Italian-ness is part of our USP and it’s something that differentiates us from other automotive manufacturers, so we do try and have that through everything we do,” said Gaventa. “But it’s more the Italian style - the fun and the flair or Italy - which we try and bring through, and the attitude, the positivity and spirit that comes through from Italy.

“That said, people saying 'that car’s a bit Italian’ is sometimes used as a bit of a negative. So we just have to balance the right mix of how much Italian to pull through.”

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Katie Deighton

Katie Deighton is The Drum’s senior reporter - creative and video based in London. She produces, films, presents and edits the title’s editorial video output, including series such as On The Scene, Ad Breakers and Why I Left Advertising, and manages its coverage of the creative sector. She also reports on the intersection between politics and marketing, as well as the third sector and fashion.

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