August 11, 2007

"The 'pot de yaourt,' or pot of yogurt."

What the French called the original Fiat 500, the incredibly tiny Italian car originally concocted in 1957, and now adorably revived.
“Like the Mini, you buy it because it’s interesting, beautiful things for the beautiful,” said Martino Boffa, the managing director in Milan of the marketing consultants Icon Added Value. He added, “It’s not functional; it’s a luxury item; it’s a toy.”...

For Mr. Boffa..., Fiat has made the 500 “a national event, saying, ‘We’re Italian, we have saved Italy.’ ” The marketing in Italy, he went on, “arouses national sentiments.”

“There’s a moralizing, chauvinistic aspect. If you’re Italian, you have to buy a Fiat.”...

But will this work outside Italy? Mr. Zurru of Roland Berger thinks so. “At least in Europe,” he said, “the 500 is linked to a cinematographic experience, a model rich in symbolism.”

“You know,” he said, “La Dolce Vita.”


Bruce Hayden said...

I think that they are right - it might work in the rest of Europe. But my guess is that it doesn't work here in the U.S.

I think that the difference here in the U.S. is first that the Mini was cute, but had the reputation of being fast and fun to drive at speed. Secondly, Americans have always seemed to prefer British cars over French ones.

Ann Althouse said...

Yet the Fiat is Italian.

Bender R said...

Could this incredibly tiny car really be any smaller than the many smaller-than-golf-cart sized cars that I've seen parked on Rome's streets?

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Fiat: Acronym for "Fix it again, Tony!"

I remember learning about the Blessed Virgin's fiat at the Annunciation. Small, Italian car and saying yes to God was an odd juxtaposition.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Here's the visual of Mary's fiat.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

Wikipedia says that:
"The famous scene in the Trevi Fountain was shot in March, when nights were still cold. According to Federico Fellini (in an interview with Costanzo Costantini), Anita Ekberg stood in the cold water in her dress for hours without any trouble. Marcello Mastroianni had to wear a wetsuit beneath his clothes. Still freezing, he downed an entire bottle of vodka, so that he was completely drunk while shooting the scene."

He does look a little light-headed.

Ekberg did that to men, though.



AllenS said...


"While at Universal Anita bloomed physically and her already full bust became especially big, to the delight of photographers..."

Here we go again, it's all about breasts!