Why did Alfa Romeo pair up with Cheryl Hickey?

Because the SUV segment in Canada is cooking and the sports car brand wants a bigger piece of the pie.
Cheryl Hickey - Alfa Romeo - Final 2A

What is a brand that’s traditionally revered for its lux Italian sports car doing with celeb/fashion presenter and mom-of-two Cheryl Hickey? Going after an audience that’s perhaps a little out of its comfort zone, but which is making up a pretty big piece of the auto market pie.

For the most part, SUV and crossover sales have been the leading force behind the Canadian auto sector for the last 10 years, even as sales began to decline after several record-breaking years. For instance, while total new vehicle sales dipped by 3.6% in 2019, SUV and pickup truck sales grew by 1.5%.

Partnering with Hickey, who has a wide reach as a Canadian TV personality, on a new content series and brand ambassador program demonstrates just how important this segment is for Alfa Romeo. Working with Publicis and ET Canada on the creation of the content, the brand is both highlighting the brand’s Stelvio Ti sport performance SUV features, as well as how they make the life of a working parent (like Hickey) that much easier.

In the video below, Hickey is shown driving in her white Stelvio SUV while doing an interview via Bluetooth. The host of Family Home Overhaul, business owner and mother of two kids and two dogs is asked how she manages to juggle it all, to which she replies: “It’s not all me – I would be lying if I said I didn’t have an incredibly intuitive assistant,” as the camera zooms in on the front of the Stelvio.

“Canadians have come to trust [Hickey] for the latest celebrity breaking news and style trends and have welcomed her into their homes on ET Canada for over 15 years,” says Jason Francis, head of Alfa Romeo Canada. “Her passion for life, fashion, her career and motherhood, are the perfect fit with the iconic Alfa Romeo brand – a brand which is built on classic Italian design… as well as offering safety and functionality for the entire family.”

He adds that now is a good time as any to partner with Hickey, as the brand recently launched a host of new features for the Stelvio, including new touchscreen displays, better connectivity, driver assistance systems and safety controls – features that would appeal to busy working professionals and parents.

“Canadians are increasingly interested in how a vehicle fits their personal style and allows them to seamlessly tackle their day-to-day challenges of life,” says Francis. “And this is one of the reasons why SUV and utility vehicle interest has continued to grow year-after- year in Canada.”

The video series will span across television, as well as Alfa Romeo Canada and ET Canada‘s social media channels. Publicis was the creative agency behind the campaign, while Starcom is handling the media buy and ET Canada leading production.