The site, EnvironmentallySexy.com, is supposed to educate consumers about electric car ownership in a fun way.
Christians have Christian Mingle, singles over 50 have Our Time, and now California car buyers looking for love in their garages have EnvironmentallySexy.com, a "matchmaking site" that intends to pair them with Italian imports. Or, rather, the site was created to introduce the all-electric 2013 Fiat 500e.
According to Fiat, EnvironmentallySexy.com has the "fun and flirty feel of a matchmaking site" complete with fictional profiles, a Mad Libs-style questionnaire, scripted videos, and what Fiat calls a "sexy" theme song.
The site is geared toward providing consumers in California with information, such as how to select the right vehicle, what potential rebates they may be eligible for, and where they can find charging stations.
The Fiat 500e arrived at California Fiat studios this summer. The brand has no plans to sell the model outside of California.
"We wanted to create an aspirational campaign that spoke to our California consumers. We wanted to give the site a very 'Italian' feel, while also speaking to the car's eco-friendly attributes," says Jason Stoicevich, head of Fiat brand in North America in the Chrysler Group.
Fiat says the 500e is promoted through "cleverly disguised 'testimonial videos.'" One such video is from "Kimberly," who says she met "Fabrizio" on the site:
It has 9,700 views as of Monday.
"Our goal is to simplify the decision-making process on the purchase or lease of a 2013 Fiat 500e by arming consumers with information that is not only informative, but conveyed in an easy-to-understand manner," Stoicevich says. "The Fiat 500e is not your typical battery-electric vehicle; it's innovative, stylish, fun to drive, and affordable. It was essential to design a site that would match the vehicle's persona."
Jake Wheeler, creative director at interactive agency SapientNitro, who worked with Fiat to develop the site, says electric car ownership has obstacles - like home ownership for charging stations, as well as legal considerations like rebates - and education about said obstacles is typically done in a very dry way.
"In our view, the FIAT 500e seemed a very rare find: a super sexy car that was all good under the hood and had an attractive price. Kind of a dream match if you were into electric cars, but hadn't found much on the desire scale in the past," he says. "Putting this together with the necessary education process made us think - finding the match of your dreams, but having to be informative, flirtatious, and captivating - well, it all kind of sounded like another big pop culture trend - Internet dating. And thus, EnvironmentallySexy.com was born..."
Stoicevich says the brand has seen "great engagement" via social media, including its "Sexy People (The Fiat Song)," from Italian singer Arianna, which has 13.4 million views.
The site launched in June.
Fiat is part of the Chrysler Group.
In addition, on July 19, Fiat U.K. launched You Wear, a Facebook app that analyzes a user's tagged Facebook photos to reveal what color he or she wears most and what color Fiat 500 he or she is best matched with. According to Fiat U.K., the Fiat 500 is "known for having more than half a million custom specification combinations and recently the city car has been made available with even more due to the launch of the Fiat 500 Spring/Summer collection range."
The app can be found on Fiat U.K.'s Facebook page or at apps.facebook.com/fiatyouwear. It scans the user's 25 most recent Facebook photos and produces a personality analysis and a car color match. It also publishes the results so friends can see and be invited to play. Fiat says it will also be discussing the app with users on Twitter with the hashtag #Fiat500YouWear.
Fiat U.K. has 763,000 likes. Fiat USA has 661,000.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
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