June 5, 2023

For Stellantis’ Olivier Francois, a 14-brand name juggling act

Olivier Francois has a passion for building brand names.

Now he will get to indulge in it even extra as the advertising and marketing chief of Stellantis, which combined the 9 brands of Fiat Chrysler Vehicles he understood very well with 5 additional from PSA Group.

Francois, recognised for formidable Super Bowl advertisements and a knack for blending musical functions into campaigns at FCA, will have to juggle advertising techniques for an even additional diverse set of models. They occur with different degrees of acceptance depending on the sector, so the obstacle for Francois and his crew will be to carve a house for each and every model.

Amid his prime priorities is to keep on elevating the rugged Ram manufacturer, which has been meshing additional luxury with demonstrated get the job done credentials in its haulers. The most current Ram marketing campaign utilizes the Foo Fighters rock band to pitch an inspirational message that honors each day rock stars these types of as moms and dads, coaches and mentors who have stepped up during the pandemic.

Francois, 59, spoke with Staff members Reporter Vince Bond Jr. about the Ram marketing campaign, the pandemic and the additional duty that stems from FCA’s merger with PSA. Right here are edited excerpts.

Q: How does the merger alter your internet marketing tactic? Do you have to get more approvals from various men and women now?

A: The complete vision powering Stellantis — what tends to make it special, what helps make it truly extraordinary, what can make the benefit of Stellantis — is, much more than at any time, this house of models technique. We now talked of that in the past as FCA, but that is seriously bolstered — it goes more — with Stellantis.

Now we have 14 brands, some of which are seriously, actually legendary in diverse elements of the globe, for the reason that if you choose Europe as an example, Fiat is iconic, Alfa Romeo is legendary, Maserati to some extent. But now we have also Citroen — very, quite legendary in Europe — or Peugeot. This is genuinely fascinating, the capacity to cultivate for each individual brand and this is evidently what we have been undertaking so successfully at FCA. For someone like me, who is so passionate about model developing — carving a diverse area for just about every brand name — all this is incredible for the reason that now I can just do it with additional makes.

It truly is really a little bit far more do the job, but it would make also the do the job a minor little bit even far more attention-grabbing and synergic. My role below is to develop or amplify all the artistic synergies in order to bring to every single brand the ideal they could dream of. Before there ended up a small little bit more approvals. We have sort of streamlined and simplified. Basically, it is clearer and really uncomplicated now.

What was the inspiration for the Ram campaign, and how did you select the Foo Fighters for it?

I often needed to perform with them. They share a ton of values with the truck brand name and they are really reliable in their romance.

Dave [Grohl] attained out to us perhaps a year in the past. And not mainly because they needed to be showcased in a commercial, but for the reason that they discovered a grassroots initiative that we experienced with Ram, called Ram Band Van, a single of the a number of initiatives we had close to the brand name in purchase to bring this notion of “crafted to serve” to existence. That certain initiative is that the brand loaned personalized upfit ProMasters to dozens of up-and-coming bands who are striving to make it. So they arrived at out just to know additional about this plan, and to connect us with other bands that they ended up kind of endorsing. For the duration of these conversations, we learned that their individual story started 25 many years in the past when Dave and the Foo Fighters submitted into their Ram van to go after their rock-and-roll desire.

We could not assist but acquire that prospect to say, “Hey, isn’t really there anything we could do collectively?” It came incredibly obviously. Alongside one another, Ram and the Foo Fighters may possibly not only be able to glow a mild on these bands that we ended up seeking to enable collectively, but some thing bigger. Possibly we could celebrate the serious rock stars out there, which would be the moms, the dads, the academics, the coaches, all variety of mentors, who were being supporting the next era turn out to be the very best they can be.

Do you consider the pandemic is going to enjoy any position in future strategies?

I hope not, after having played a damaging role for a year or so. As you can see in this campaign, we are not portraying men and women putting on masks. I think that everybody desires to listen to good tales about what will come next. So I imagine that if the pandemic performs a job, it will be the part of what stands guiding us and requires to be left powering us.

I feel that now will be the time for beneficial stories, and how can we be much better than ahead of, encouraged by what occurred, take inspiration of what happened, learn from 2020 and 2021, and make a treasure of what we uncovered. Be a lot more sustainable, give worth to what truly issues like spouse and children, to the human relationship, the straightforward moments. I consider what possibly will encourage us, since it conjures up me, is the benefit of the straightforward things, like staying jointly, celebrating with each other, having a food collectively, hugging a good friend, all the matters that literally we take for granted. And so I imagine back again to the value of straightforward things, and which are actually the values of existence — spouse and children, appreciate, friendship and, for absolutely sure, a a lot more sustainable method to our each day life and to the planet. So I believe this is what is likely to encourage the next phase of our communication because this is what will resonate with our international audiences.

With the chip shortage hurting creation across the globe, are there considerations that there may not be enough vans when individuals see these commercials and go out to get them?

Which is in which the brand arrives again to the centre of the equation. The brand desires tools. They know what inventory they have, where by they have it, what they will need to market, what they need to have to press. Based on this, we have a wonderful creative, we have a wonderful campaign and they are of course going to use it as a resource to push what they have to offer, in which they have it to offer.