First Drive Review: The Winning Ways of the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth
It is very hard to imagine anyone in the advertising biz or even the auto industry ever being crazy enough to agree to such a potentially off-putting and intentionally quite schizophrenic car brand re-launch campaign like the one currently being undertaken by Italy’s Fiat. Other countries usually think of the United States as the land of the uptight New Puritans so being radical, prurient or in any way titillating with your sales approach is generally considered to be totally crazy or perhaps in this case just totally and utterly Italian. We kind of think it’s the latter in this case because, well, Fiat and the people of Italy just dance to the beat of their own much cooler drummer.
In Fiat’s latest round of rather unexpected North American TV spots for their all-new 2012 FIAT 500 Abarth hot hatch, they chose to utilize the outrageously narcissistic persona embodied by none other than the hopeless bad-boy Charlie Sheen who regularly appears in public accompanied by “strippers/goddesses” in a state that has at times implied he wasn’t just high on life.
But really, Charlie Sheen is an oddly lovable” bad boy” that no one is really afraid of because he never, ever denies exactly what kind of man he is. And with that fact, there are many out there who secretly wish they could be half as cool as Charlie Sheen. Thankfully for Fiat, Charlie also nailed the tone of his first ad which was intended to cast his unashamedly iconic “bad-ass” aura around the newly released 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth that we recently had a chance to take on an introductory first drive road test.