Doner’s latest spot promoting the Fiat starts out cute and sweet before taking a menacing turn.
The 54-second animated effort, entitled “Helpful Critters,” opens on a group of woodland critters talking up the Fiat 500’s gas mileage in a casual, conversational tone. “Do you get such crappy gas mileage, they know your name at the gas station? a bunny rabbit asks in a squeaky voice. “Why you hatin’ on the earth? With the Fiat 500, just think of the money you’d save,” adds a squirrel.
Things take a sinister turn around the midway point with the rabbit saying, “We think you should get a Fiat, if you know what’s good for you,” as her face suddenly changes from a smile to an evil glare. The critters then suggest that they know several members of the bear community and you could go missing (presumably murdered) if you don’t buy a Fiat.
It’s both reminiscent of Italian mafia stereotypes and the classic South Park episode “Woodland Critter Christmas” for its cuteness-turned-evil tone. Needless to say, threatening to murder potential customers is an odd approach for a car commercial.