Alfa Romeo showed up to a BMW event and tried to steal their customers

5w ago


Alfa Romeo has been trying to take market share away from the big German three (Audi, Mercedes, BMW) for some time now.

Ever since they came back to the US market and unveiled the 4C, Giulia, and Stelvio, Alfa has had big ambitions. But almost every review you read says that the 4C is spectacular, the Giulia is a better driver's car than the 5-series, and the Stelvio will sell like hot-cakes to bring Alfa into the mainstream. Only, it hasn't.

Alfa's sales have been decent, but they aren't setting the world on fire. Reliability issues and press car troubles have plagued the brand even since their re-introduction. I personally have had the 4C as a press vehicle and had no problems with it (and by the way it was amazing on back roads).

So in an attempt to do some guerilla marketing, Alfa showed up at the biggest BMW show in the country, Bimmerfest. In fact, it's the largest private owner BMW show in the entire world.

This is clearly a sponsored video through autoguide.com. It says so right in the title. But the larger question is why do this at all? Well, Alfa is trying to do this grassroots, "boots on the ground" style of marketing for a few reasons. My day job is in advertising so hopefully this insight will help to explain...

1) This is a hugely effective marketing technique. There's no better way to get new sales than to show and test your product with a competitor's user/fan/sales base.

2) Even though this is clearly an ad, it gives you a bit of an emotional connection to the brand. They care enough to go to Bimmerfest and try to pilfer customers because they believe in their product to much they're willing to risk a failure in the eyes of TONS of BMW faithful. That takes some serious cajones.

Some may see this as a publicity stunt and some may see it as a sort of backhanded way to scoff in the face of BMW. But I think this was a really good attempt to convince people that Alfa is a good brand and worth taking a look at. I'm not the biggest fan of the Giulia, but Alfa got some serious respect and cred from me on this one.

What do you think?