Fiat invests $10m into Marea launch in Brazil

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SAO PAULO -- Fiat is investing $300 million in the Brazilian launch of its new Marea model, available in Sedan and Weekend versions. Around $10 million will be plowed into marketing - the company's biggest ad spend of this year from an annual $100 million budget.

Last year, Fiat climbed from the 18th to the 4th position on the national automotive ranking.

With Marea, the car manufacturer hopes to take the lead in the deluxe car segment, taking 35% of the premium category by 1999. Currently, the company has ]12% of this market with the Tempra brand. The Fiat factory in Sao Paulo will be adapted to produce the new vehicle.

Marea will compete directly with General Motors' Vectra and Ford's Mondeo. The campaign, created by Leo Burnett, emphasizes that Fiat is a company that cares for life quality, nature and education.

A teaser shows an empty street together with the sound of a unseen car that literally makes the clouds in the sky smile. The idea is that Marea ends all the monotony of the streets, surprising even the clouds in the sky.

The commercial - created in 30 second and 60 second versions - has special effects that show the whole environment being astonished at the sight of the new car. North American Sean Thonson directed the film for production company Zohar, Rio de Janeiro.

The campaign also includes print ads and a CD ROM, containing detailed information about the car, that will be distributed in national magazines Quatro Rodas, Gula, Bravo! and Exame Vip.

The campaign will be used to launch the car in other Latin American markets, such as Argentina, Venezuela and Colombia, and might be used in Italy later in the year. Marea was launched in Europe last year.

Copyright June 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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