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When a Commercial is “Stunning and Controversial”. And a Prize-winner.

In the “Stories from the World of Pirelli”, which is devoted to the long tradition of television and movie commercials created by the Pirelli Group, we have already mentioned some advertising spots and films that have received honours and awards both in Italy and internationally. This was true of the animated film Novità al Salone Internazionale dell’Auto di Torino (“News from the Turin Car Show”) of 1951, made by the Pagot Film company to advertise the Pirelli Stelvio tyre. The ground-breaking cartoon received an award at the 2nd Advertising Congress in Genoa and received the Prime Minister’s Cup for Best Advertising Film at the 2nd International Advertising Film Festival.

This was just the start of a tradition of television and film commercials that went on to be awarded for their genius. In another story on the actresses who appeared on the covers of Vado e Torno magazine, which was published by Pirelli for the road haulage sector in the 1960s, we talked about the young Liz Allsop and the film The Tortoise and the Hare, in which she played the part of an English driver in a Jaguar going up the length of Italy on the Autostrada del Sole. It was 1966 and the medium-length film – produced by Cammell, Hudson and Brownjohn Associates and directed by Hugh Hudson – was the work of Pirelli Ltd in England. Adopting another innovative solution, it was a complete film, with the Pirelli Cinturato as its real star. Also The Tortoise and the Hare received a whole crop of awards, including those at the 7th International Industrial Film Festival and at the 4th International Trade Film Days in Milan in 1966, and the Clifford Wheeler Award in England in 1967, until it was broadcast later that year on Italian television.

Liz Allsop, the English blonde in The Tortoise and the Hare may have been relatively unknown, but Sharon Stone, the American blonde, was universally famous when, thirty years later, she starred in the 1993 TV commercial that became known as Driving Instinct. Fresh from her worldwide success in Basic Instinct, she played the part of Catherine Tramell, with her love of sports cars, in the Pirelli film commercial directed by Willy van der Vlugt. Here too the tyre was a discreet, though fundamental protagonist. And Pirelli reaped in more awards, with an Oscar at the Industrial Film Festival in Cernobbio and two first prizes given that year by the International Advertising Association. Further successes came in 1995, this time with the American sprinter Carl Lewis, who became Tyreman in Carl in New York, the commercial produced by the Young & Rubicam agency and directed by Gerard de Thame for Pirelli P6000 tyres. The slogan Power is nothing without control went on to become a universal symbol of Pirelli tyres and their performance. Awards soon came pouring in: the spot received the BTAA Commercial of the Year prize, three nominations for the D&D Award, and the Lion Award at the Festival of Creativity in Cannes. As we see in the Pirelli Foundation book Advertising with a Capital P, published by Corraini Edizioni in 2017, these really are stunning and controversial advertisements. And that is why they have been so adored by the public and critics alike.

In the “Stories from the World of Pirelli”, which is devoted to the long tradition of television and movie commercials created by the Pirelli Group, we have already mentioned some advertising spots and films that have received honours and awards both in Italy and internationally. This was true of the animated film Novità al Salone Internazionale dell’Auto di Torino (“News from the Turin Car Show”) of 1951, made by the Pagot Film company to advertise the Pirelli Stelvio tyre. The ground-breaking cartoon received an award at the 2nd Advertising Congress in Genoa and received the Prime Minister’s Cup for Best Advertising Film at the 2nd International Advertising Film Festival.

This was just the start of a tradition of television and film commercials that went on to be awarded for their genius. In another story on the actresses who appeared on the covers of Vado e Torno magazine, which was published by Pirelli for the road haulage sector in the 1960s, we talked about the young Liz Allsop and the film The Tortoise and the Hare, in which she played the part of an English driver in a Jaguar going up the length of Italy on the Autostrada del Sole. It was 1966 and the medium-length film – produced by Cammell, Hudson and Brownjohn Associates and directed by Hugh Hudson – was the work of Pirelli Ltd in England. Adopting another innovative solution, it was a complete film, with the Pirelli Cinturato as its real star. Also The Tortoise and the Hare received a whole crop of awards, including those at the 7th International Industrial Film Festival and at the 4th International Trade Film Days in Milan in 1966, and the Clifford Wheeler Award in England in 1967, until it was broadcast later that year on Italian television.

Liz Allsop, the English blonde in The Tortoise and the Hare may have been relatively unknown, but Sharon Stone, the American blonde, was universally famous when, thirty years later, she starred in the 1993 TV commercial that became known as Driving Instinct. Fresh from her worldwide success in Basic Instinct, she played the part of Catherine Tramell, with her love of sports cars, in the Pirelli film commercial directed by Willy van der Vlugt. Here too the tyre was a discreet, though fundamental protagonist. And Pirelli reaped in more awards, with an Oscar at the Industrial Film Festival in Cernobbio and two first prizes given that year by the International Advertising Association. Further successes came in 1995, this time with the American sprinter Carl Lewis, who became Tyreman in Carl in New York, the commercial produced by the Young & Rubicam agency and directed by Gerard de Thame for Pirelli P6000 tyres. The slogan Power is nothing without control went on to become a universal symbol of Pirelli tyres and their performance. Awards soon came pouring in: the spot received the BTAA Commercial of the Year prize, three nominations for the D&D Award, and the Lion Award at the Festival of Creativity in Cannes. As we see in the Pirelli Foundation book Advertising with a Capital P, published by Corraini Edizioni in 2017, these really are stunning and controversial advertisements. And that is why they have been so adored by the public and critics alike.

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