Behind the Scenes | Immigrants: The New FIAT 500 Commercial

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By now, you’ve probably seen the new commercial for the FIAT 500. Online and on TV, the image of the iconic 500 peacefully driving through its homeland and along the Amalfi Coast, suddenly diving into the ocean only to reappear in New York City, has announced to viewers that the FIAT 500 has arrived stateside and it came to party. If you haven’t seen it, take a minute to watch before we take you behind the scenes with exclusive photos and stories from the set.

The question that we’ve seen most often has been, “Were those real cars going into the ocean?” The answer is yes. In total, we submerged six vehicles during the shoot. The FIAT with the most death-defying jump is the Giallo (yellow) Sport. For that shot, the Sport was dropped from a crane at more than 70 feet in the air.   Yes, vehicles were harmed in the making of this commercial.  


Not all of the 500s were dropped from a crane, however. The vehicles were pulled into the water by boat, tractor and tow truck. In one case, the ocean was too rough and would not allow for a track to be put into the water. Without missing a beat, our stunt driver leapt at the chance to drive a FIAT 500 Abarth off of a pier and into the waiting water. He pulled off the stunt without a hitch, but three scuba divers were ready just in case.


The commercial was shot over 12 days and in two countries. In Italy, we shot along the Amalfi Coast, including Amalfi, Positano, Atrani, Maiori, Minori and Furore. A month prior, our first attempt to shoot in Italy was completely rained out, and the stormy weather became a theme of the trip. At one point, lightning struck just 200 yards from where we were shooting. The New York weather was much more cooperative. While there, we shot in Manhattan and Brooklyn and took some skyline shots from New Jersey.


Perhaps, other than the locals from the town in Italy who were cast, the star of the commercial may be the FIAT 500 itself. A natural on land, in tight curves, leaping from great heights and submerged, we knew that we had the best in the biz.   Now that you’ve seen the behind-the-scenes, are you itching for your chance to roam around Italy? You’re in luck! We have something special up our sleeves just for our FIAT Backstage readers. Stay tuned for your chance to travel to the same streets on the Amalfi Coast that you saw here. Is your passport ready? Photos courtesy of Paul Papanek 
  • Seems like you had a lot of fun making the commercial…so I will go have fun watching it!

    • Filippo

       I was in Amalfi a couple of summers ago. I knew it looked familiar! Bene!

  • AutoEmotionenTV

    our passport is ready, we are waiting to get a chance to catch the emotions with our videomagazine AutoEmotionenTV.

  • Barbara

    I Love This Fiat 500 … I’m American, living in Italy.  Most of my friends are in Positano and Praiano….they sent me this commercial.  I also have family in NY…I sent it to them,  GREAT COMMERCIAL

    • If I were an American living in Italy I’d be telling people I was Canadian, no doubt!

  • I’ve had four Fiats that crossed the Atlantic ocean to reach the USA, but current models cross the Rio Grande. They’re more reliable than mine.

  • Filippo

     I was in Amalfi a couple of summers ago. I knew it looked familiar! Bene!

  • The grey 5oo i see in the end is the fiat 500T???? I’m pretty sure is not a sport and is not a abart!

  • Cheenriquez

    Wouldn,t that be something if I win again. That will be my wife’s dream come true. She wants to see Italy so bad. Love fiat commercials!!

  • Awesome job guys.

  • you KNOOOOWWW you could have just given one of those cars to me….

  • Sharon

    My Fiat is awesome but I dont plan on driving it into the water to prove it, It has already been in a wreck and it has taken a month to get all the parts but, so I wont be planing on anything that drastic to prove how great it is cause It proves it everyday all by itself!!!!!!!!! Fiat’s are the best and I totally love mine!!!!! 

  • Edmonds59

    Now THAT is a great commercial.  I sincerely hope to see no more irrelevant celebs, sorry Jlo and Charlie!
    And hoping someday for an Abarth of my own.

  • Kristy Elmore

    Sad to see an abrath in water and not my driveway

  • I recognized the scenes from the Amalfi Coast immediately! I love the commercial!

  • I recognized the scenes from the Amalfi Coast immediately! I  love the commercial!

  • Don Smith

    Terrific concept but I didn’t ‘get it’ on first pass because the shot of the car coming out of the water near the two bridges had no striking visual cue that it was now in New York. Looking back and squinting to see the skyline in the background could be, kinda, New York, but only after I was told it was New York. I only realized the cars had crossed the ocean by listening to the voiceover. I LOVE my new Lounge and that’s what’s important.

  • Pete Franz

    GREAT commercial compared to the JayLo garbage we’ve seen earlier.  It ties in the Italian heritage, syle, culture and the fun to drive aspect. There are so many cool things, the look of th fisherman as the car drives out, the crab at the end, and how the music changes to hip hop when the car hits America. 

  • LOVE my FIAT!!!   I could only wish to drive it down the Amalfi Coast!!!!!! 

  • I love those little cars, I really want an Abarth!!! Can’t wait to own one!!!

  • I love those litte cars, Can’t wait to own one – I really want the Abarth Scorpion!!!

  • Fiat1

    Sorry mate; don’t much care for the commerical.  While it’s better than the JLo campaign, it still hasn’t captured what makes Fiats really different from other cars. 

  • Langeckerp

    What a weird idea! Hope it gets the attention of the US public – but it still hurts a little to see all of these cute cars end up in the ocean. Love my Prima 500!

  • Bbalogh1

    It would be really cool as a Fiat 500 owner to go to Italy to see where the 500 came from!

  • Recognized Amalfi…and the area. Must have caoused quite a stir there, as the villages are pretty small, lol! The commercial was fun though…i obught a ford fiesta though-a better car for me. it could ba a fun second car but i am not in the market!

  • Maria_ines_rosa

    I have one and his license plate is “Picolino” sorry missing a C but no space on the plate – I love my 500C!

  • Spyderguy

    Very creative commercial… shame about wasting 6 500s.  Any one of them would look great next to my Spyder.

  • bill s

    so sad to see the little yellow one destroyed for the commercial! 🙁

  • Shawn Easter

    Great ad.  Keep up the clever spots and increase the Abarth production!

  • Dennisk805

    great commercial i bought the same type of car that jennifer did the  new york commercial in love my fiat conv pearl white wit red and white seats

  • Einar Jakobsen

    OMG! Love the new commercial and LOVE my Fiat!  Italy looks magnificent 🙂

  • Love the car, love the Almafi coast!!

  • Bought the Rosso Brillante 2 weeks ago.  LOVE the car!

  • VivianWright

    After owning a 1979 Fiat X19 Bertone – NO car I’ve owned since handles like a Fiat & NONE have the quality inside & out nor the detail that Fiat puts into its cars. Look forward to seeing the Abarth Gucci convertible in person. Commericials say it all about FIAT! Fun, spirited, life-loving… now that’s Italian! Makes me home-sick for Italy even though I’m not Italian & have only ever been to Rome.


    What a terrible thing to do!!! Those little cars a too cute to hurt. Sergio Marchionne I’m ashamed of you, for letting someone devalue your product. I have a 2012SPORT in Rosso and I love it

  • Holly Aichele

    When I saw my white with red Cabriolet in the commercial, I just howled.  I yelled out, Honey, look, my Ciao Bella is a movie star!!!

  • guess I gotta take a test ride in one out to the lake and prove to my girlfriend that it will not drive in the water..she’s so convenced, I told her to much James Bond

  • Randall Lawson

    Yeah you could still give me one of them…………..Randall 

  • Pepe

    Very creative love your marketing!

  • Tina Garbarino Burden

    I bought my Fiat 500 5 months ago in Michigan, USA! I first saw the fiat’s in 2008 while vacationing in Paris, France. That version was the Fiat Nuevo 500. I had never seen one in the states. At that time I had been driving Mini Coopers for the past 6 years. I love my Fiat way more than my mini. Congratulations you have converted me! Well done. It is fun to drive, I constantly get stares from on-lookers, I am constantly asked how I like it and it gets spectacular gas mileage!! Thank you for bringing them to the states, FINALLY!!!!!

    • cristina

      Can you tell me what is better between the mini Cooper and the fiat the look or the style…. Is that true that the front sit of the mini cooper is very low and uncomfortable? i rent for 1 week the fiat 500 🙂 and i fell il love with it, I will get one for sure,but i am confuse to choose between the fiat 500 c lounge or the 500c pop.the boot convertible.”.I AM CONFUSE”

  • Nanades1

    Oh My God……I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO ready to win one of these Fiats.  when i first saw the jennifer lopez commercial, a few months ago i fell in love with this car.

  • Itsa Rivera

    OMG It hurts so much to see them all mess up and me wanting one soooooooo badddd 🙁

    • Itsa Rivera


  • I would love to win a trip to my homeland! im italian living in usa..i love fiat 500 we used to put 7 people in the small car when i was a teenager!!!! Great commercial!!!

  • Kathyh

    my first car was a very old Fiat that my dad let me drive in high school.  Chock was in the back seat

  • Itsa Rivera

    Can’t stop washing the video…LOVE IT, SO BEAUTIFUL VIEWS!!!    P.S. Love the crab 🙂

  • Txangel871

    I love my fiat 500 sport named him Rosco

  • I would love to be driving one to work everyday and for fun weekend trips. Natually it would have to be a 5 speed stick! lol. 🙂

  • Dmattews41

    Hey if any of those Fiats still run after taking a beating I’d be more than happy to take one off your hands…. this is definitely my next car!!!!

  • CK

    I am willing to be a humble winner of one of your fine Fiat 500 cars! 

  • Great ad for this cute little car. My first car ever was a 1973 Fiat 128, shipped to Portland from Italy. It still had the sticker on it identifying it was a bred in Italy driving machine. I loved that car. Unfortunately, I was hit by a very stupid driver head-on and the insurance company totaled it. So I bought another 🙂 Drove it for years!

  • I’ve got my passport and my girlfriend ready, and we are ready for Italy !          Your Fiat will look gorgeous along the Scenic Baja California Coast Highway.        Everyone in Baja California will want one ! 

  • Great commercial Bravi ben fatto 

  • Kevin C. Colson

    What a great car! I want to meet the person that brought them back to life.


    I adore my little Francesca. I keep getting pulled over to be asked how I like her. Even an L.A. cop pulled me over! Find your nearest dealer and get your own.

  • Samuel Aryeh

    This is a great car.Can you send me one to use in Ghana,I will be very grateful.

  •  I like to think that my Rame Pop cheers from the garage every time this commercial comes on :o) Bravo, Fiat, for a wonderful commercial!

  • Brenda Nonamaker

    I just love the FIAT 500 they are so pretty and small that would be good on gas with the prices for it today. I would love to own one myself and would be great if you would give me one because I need a car as mine has just ended its life. Need a way to get around and how great it would be to be sporting around in a bright colored FIAT 500.

  • The little blue Fiat 500 is exactly like the one we bought in 1960. It was a 1959 they told us but some say it is a 1958. We still have it and Husband is trying to restore it as best he can with no money, so of course, it is not pristene. We stored it in the back of a club wagon van for years. Fit perfectly. He has been having loads of fun driving it around the lawn. It is the cutest car made. We went on honeymoon in it, filled it with gas, went 250 miles and decided to fill it up before we left for home and it took $1.87. We got home, another 250 miles and rode around to work etc all week on that tank of gas.

  • The little blue Fiat like ours, is the one shown in your ad!!

  • Joan Duggan

    calling for my tickest to go to Italy

  • Steve

    Anyone of my friends/family that know I have a FIAT have phoned or EMAILED me to ask me if I have seen this commercial and also if the FIAT floats!!  Yes, I tell them I have seen the commercial and no they don’t float, otherwise you wouldn’t see them “driving” up out of the water but rather floating up to a dock.  GREAT commercial guys…Keep them coming, I’m seeing more and more of them on the road here in Phoenix.  DYNAMITE CAR!!!!  I have had mine for 7 months now and have 15,000 miles on her already.

  • mickel

    I’ll take one of the damaged ones, must be a tax write off for you if you did

  • barbie

    i really loved the commercial i would lve to visit your city

  • sergio

    great car great commercial, I own a sport 5spd 

  • I love this commercial!

  • I;m in Nice, France right now, can I help?  😉


    I was the first to buy a Sassy Black and chrome Convertable from Brown’s Dealership on Long Island and I still Love it!!

  • OriGiNaLsNoB

    Hmmm secret word…

  • ldstarr18

    Test drove your Arbarth! She is Bellissima!

  • WarriorWoman

    What a waste of perfectly beautiful vehicles, which I would love to have just ONE!

  • Kay

    I am so glad I came on this site and explored further this amazing car. I loved it in the 60s and had a Fiat sports car in the 80s. Love these cars. Thanks, Kay

  • Just spent a week in Positano. We rented a 500. Looking to purchase one in Michigan now.

    • jsmithcsa

      Did you drive it into the ocean? That’s traditional in Italy, you know.

  • Wow..

  • Pablo

    lamente’ I wish I had the Abarth BEFORE it hit
    the water

  • Joe Blo

    Great AD…Great people those Italians !

  • Joe Rami

    What group plays the music?

  • EBurk

    Just wonder if you are prepared for a huge lawsuit when some dimwit tries one of the dives shown in your commercials and “expects” to come out of it all safe and sound? Did you not even consider that sort of thing? The world is full of idiots!

  • abuelalynn

    I so enjoyed the commercial and love the look of the yellow Fiat, so my grandchildren asked, “But can they really float? I don’t know can they? It would be more fun driving one on those narrow streets in Italy wouldn’t it?

  • mamun rikil
  • mamun rikil
  • Pingback: Car of the Day : schwimmende Fiat 500 in den USA()

  • btex1red

    I currently own a 2013 500 here in dallas, texas. from the time i saw the 500 on tv i have wanted to buy one, then in late 2012 i gave up my ford f150 for one of these. since the day of purchase i have spent half as much on each stop at the gas station and gone further on each gallon by 2 times. i love it!

  • Tianya

    I studied in Europe during collage. Italy was my favorite place and dream to reside their for as long as I live. Italian material side four great grandparents and paternal side three from Italy.My new car is going to be a Fiat and my little girl asked me if we could have a 3 seats so I can invite a friend.Please consider me to come to Italy and feel the real exciting drive in my Fiat. Thank you,
    Tianya Marino-Lopez

  • madi

    such a GREAT commercial and the BEST idea i give props to the people that that idea and ALL the people behind the scenes the best ckeep up with the good word

  • Scott K.

    the north american models are better then the europen models

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© 2012 Chrysler Group LLC, FIAT, FIAT 500 POP, and ABARTH are registered trademarks used under license by Chrysler Group LLC.