FIAT Uses Weather-Specific Guerrilla Ads to Promote 2015 SUV

Rain-activated activation heralds the updated Panda Cross

The 15th of October was a rainy Wednesday in downtown London, but for commuters walking through the city, it was also the perfect chance to witness the launch of a new advertising campaign. That morning, FIAT introduced a rain-activated guerrilla campaign that promoted its new Panda Cross SUV on the city’s wet sidewalks.

Led by an advertising team of Maxus, krow Communications, and Kinectic Active, spray painters prepared stenciled advertisements for the Panda Cross and painted them on city sidewalks and streets. The paint used is rain-activated, meaning images only appear when exposed to water. These “wet stencils” appeared in high-footfall locations not only across London, but also in Manchester, Birmingham, York, Edinburgh, Leeds, and Liverpool. Advertisements read, “Any Terrain. Any Weather. Anything Goes.”

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On Oct. 17, FIAT’s water stencils were complemented by outdoor animated projections that showed the Cross “driving” across unexpected combinations of terrain—across building walls, windows, and between surfaces.

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FIAT’s campaign highlights the dual versatility of the Panda Cross, and minuscule SUV that nimbly navigates urban environments, but has capability to handle various outdoor surfaces. Its 2014 model includes a revamped all-wheel drive system and new terrain selector. FIAT identifies the Panda’s core audience as urban commuters who want to escape to—and conquer—outdoor terrain as well.

FIAT’S small-scale out-of-home initiative follows the recent trend of companies such as Ford and Google, who are using hyper-local outdoor advertisements to charm core audiences and gather social buzz. In FIAT’s case, advertising exposure is even more variable, dependent on weather conditions.

On rainy days, it is unknown how many individuals expect or notice to look down for advertisements. However, if they happen to catch FIAT’s messaging, it may brighten their otherwise rainy day.

Photos and video courtesy: FIAT

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