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Pirelli: Advertising with a Capital P

Pirelli visual communication between design masterpiece and global campaign – from the 70s to 2000s

The book tells the story of Pirelli advertising from the seventies through to the present day, drawing on the Group’s Historical Archive, which contains thousands of advertising prints and dozens of television commercials.

Presentation of the book “Pirelli Advertising with a Capital P” 4th july 2017

In the seventies and eighties, the advertisements were made by Pirelli’s Centro, with such great names as Pino Tovaglia, Salvatore Gregorietti, and François Robert. It was Centro, an interesting example of an Italian in-house agency, that took Pirelli communication from a world of tradition into one of marketing-oriented strategies. The nineties saw the arrival of international agencies (Young & Rubicam and Armando Testa) with global campaigns that used endorsers from the world of cinema and sport (Sharon Stone, Carl Lewis, Ronaldo). The picture by Annie Leibovitz of Lewis wearing high-heeled shoes, and the slogan “Power is Nothing without Control” in 1994 became landmarks in the history of advertising.

The book, which follows on from A Muse in the Wheels. Pirelli: A Century of Art at the Service of its Products, examines the evolution of advertising strategies, techniques and languages in the shift from analog to digital technologies. Pirelli was at the forefront, as we can see in the creation of a Long P consisting of 140 cars seen at a height of 85 meters – an amazing feat in a pre-digital era – and in one of the first entirely digital experiments in advertising with the “Pirellibility” spot (1981).

After the introductory essays by Antonio Calabrò, Paola Dubini, Carlo Vinti, Michele Galluzzo and Giancarlo Rocco di Torrepadula, the advertising campaigns are presented with 800 illustrations (camera-ready artwork, prints, photographs, video stills), divided into sections: Pirelli Group corporate communication, communication “of public interest” and actual product advertisements. The exclusive content you find on this dedicated site: audio-visual advertisements (from the Carosello program in the early seventies to the special effects used in the commercials with Carl Lewis and Ronaldo in the nineties, through to the “Wild” spot, with top Hollywood names), additional advertising materials (camera-ready copies and prints), and more special content.

The advertising campaigns

All
Printed advertisements
TV commercial
A world of sign

In the mid-1980s the range of Pirelli tyres for cars reached its greatest diversification, to meet the demands of the various countries where the Company had a commercial presence. In 1985 the second-generation radials P6 and P7, evolved into the new P600 and P700. In the United Kingdom the collaboration with the designer Derek Forsyth generated a whole series of graphic-advertising works . amongst which the family feeling used ofr Pirelli P600 and P700 campaign. In 1986, under the headline “”Grippin Stuff””, the thriller Double Indemnity would make history in the English-speaking markets, untile 1989, with the release of the epic The Day The Earth Stood Still, with the Pirelli P Zero as protagonist on the Lamborghini Countach Anniversary. In Germany Die Beine ihres Autos unfolded over several years and several subjects and the Scandinavian market responded with The Most Wanted Tyres.

Centro Culturale Pirelli

Between the 1960s and 1970s, the Centro Cultural Pirelli became the meeting place for the company’s social and cultural vocation and the Centro agency’s communication of public utility. The brand for the Cultural Centre is the work of the designer Pino Tovaglia:two Cs geometrically arranged around an ideal central core.

Pneumatici con la P maiuscola

The 1978 advertising campaigns Pneumatici con la P maiuscola (Tyres with capital P) is created with 140 cars to make a big Pirelli P, photographed by Adrian Hamilton at a height of 85 meters. The campaign will then be announced in both print and film and television.

Autobianchi

In 1967 Ilio Negri systematized the logo for Autobianchi, a company owned by Pirelli Group, creating the stylized A inserted inside a circle.

When the logo becomes an asset

In 1970 Ilio Negri pushed the graphic elaboration of the Pirelli logo further, summarizing it in a specular intertwined double P: the logotype was registered and used above all for corporate merchandising.

ANCMA

Advertising for the ANCMA between the 1970s and 1980s covered a broad spectrum: from information leaflets and invitations to print ads and TV commercials, including posters and a logo redesign by Carlo Cattaneo – graphic designer at Centro – in 1978, which is still in use today.

Pirelli MotoVelo

In the seventies the business of motorcycle tires gave rise. In 1974 – by another rotund, stylized little man, this time riding a motorbike, who interpreted “the Pirelli sign that accompanies motorcyclists and cyclists” and in 1975 the Motoreporter, a photo contest on the theme of La tua estate, una moto, una ragazza (Your Summer, a Motorbike, a Girl): For the summer of 1976, Pirelli MotoVelo dealers were offered a new and unusual gadget: anyone buying types would be given record albums as part of the Canta e balla le tue corse d’estate (Sing and Dance Your Summer Races) campaign.

Superga Sport

Under the slogan “your shoes chosen by the champions”, the 1970s flowed past like a big picture card album of Into your tennis shoes the best loved characters in international sports, who increasingly endorsed Superga.

TV ads at the forefront

“In the mid-1980s the range of Pirelli types for cars reached its greatest diversification, to meet the demands of the various countries where the Company had a commercial presence. In 1985 the second-generation radials P6 and P7, evolved into the new P600 and P700. In the United Kingdom the collaboration with the designer Derek Forsyth generated a whole series of graphic-advertising works . amongst which the family feeling used for Pirelli P600 and P700 campaign. In 1986, under the headline “”Grippin Stuff””, the thriller Double Indemnity would make history in the English-speaking markets, until 1989, with the release of the epic The Day The Earth Stood Still, with the Pirelli P Zero as protagonist on the Lamborghini Countach Anniversary. In Germany Die Beine hires Autos unfolded over several years and several subjects and the Scandinavian market responded with The Most Wanted Tyres”.

Printed advertisements
TV commercial
If You’re Going to Drive, Drive

In 1993 came the decision to go back to the video and associate the now global campaign “If You’re Going to Drive, Drive” to a celebrity endorsement.And the star of “united” Pirelli was the actress Sharon Stone, fresh from her worldwide success with Basic Instinct, released in 1992.

Printed advertisements
TV commercial
Power is Nothing Without Control

The 1994 campaign “Power is nothing without control” by Young & Rubicam is entrusted to another exceptional testimonial: the Olympic champion Carl Lewis. The slogan was destined to enter the history of advertising, not only for Pirelli types but for the entire world of communication. The photograph was taken by Annie Leibovitz while the director for the television version is entrusted to Gerard de Thame with amazing special effects. In 1997, another athlete, Marie-Josè Pèrec, became the fastest woman in the world and in 1998 the Brazilian phenomenon Ronaldo with the famous “Corcovado” advertising campaign.

Printed advertisements
TV commercial
Dalla mandria al pugno

For its 2000-2001 advertising campaign, Pirelli Tyre Sector commissioned the Armando Testa agency. It was the end of the era of celebrity endorsements to promote its products through the renown of the personalities chosen by the Company, and the beginning of the era in which “the product itself is the star”. The TV commercial Wild – also featured in the press release Pinnacle – was directed by Thed Lenssen, at the helm of a group including Allen Hall (Oscar winner for Forrest Gump) for the stage effects. In 2002 “”Fist”” A black fist, whose fingers look as though they’re made of tires. Four, like the four wheels of a car.

Printed advertisements
TV commercial
The Tortoise And The Hare, promotional film, United Kingdom, 1966

Director: Hugh Hudson. Produced by: Gamma Film, Pirelli Ltd, Camel Hudson and Brownjohn Associates”

The Pirelli sister company in the United Kingdom revealed its long-standing creative vitality, at least since the production of the film La lepre e la tartaruga (The Hare and the Tortoise), depicting a chase between a Jaguar and a truck along the Autostrada del Sole, under the sign of the Cinturato. This was released just a couple of years after the launch of the Pirelli Calendar, and the glossy covers of the house organs “Pirellicon” and “Pirelli World”, signed by the art editor Michael Tucker. In addition to “The Cal”, the collaboration with the designer Derek Forsyth generated a whole series of graphic-advertising works, amongst which the family feeling used for the Pirelli P600 and P700 campaigns. As for television, Pirellitbility – a pioneer of animated digitalization – was produced as early as 1980, and after that, in 1986, under the headline “Gripping Stuff”, the thriller Double Indemnity that would make history in the English-speaking markets, until 1989, with the release of the epic The Day the Earth Stood Still, with the Pirelli P Zero as protagonist on the Lamborghini Countach Anniversary.

Our Life on the Road La rostra vita tulle trade, “carosello” in ten episodes, 1970

Director: Roberto Gavioli. Produced by: Gamma Film

It was 1970 and the Cinturato was at the height of its commercial success. On Italian television, the media phenomenon known as “Carosello” – an early evening viewing slot – had been going strong for over a decade. This was the ideal container for commercial advertising, and was structured as though it were a TV show. That year, La rostra vita tulle trade (Our Life on the Road), a series of comedy sketches centered on the theme of road safety advertising the Cinturato, was aired on “Carosello”. All of these ended with a “tyre moral” inviting consumers to choose the CN54.

Cinturato Pirelli CN54, 1972, “carosello” in ten episodes.

Director: Enrico Sannie. Produced by: RPA/ODMS

The “rally effect” was further reinforced with the 1972 season. The advertising message acquired greater breadth and was structured as a broad story, almost as though it wanted the public at large to get closer and closer to this sport. The repercussions of this competition on the serial product Cinturato CN54 became pivotal in that year’s advertising campaign.The TV presence for the 1972 “Carosello” season was also entirely dedicated to the rally world, with various situations linked to the drivers, the cars, to the still little-known aspects of the sport. In other words, to everything that led to the Cinturato CN54.

La parola al gommista, “carosello” in six episodes, 1973

Director: Alfredo Danti. Produced by: DN Sound
Episode: Sub

In 1973 a new figure appeared in tyre communication: that figure was the specialized retailer, ultimately the real contact point between the manufacturer and the consumer. The campaign – which also involved the airing of a series of TV commercials – was La parole al gommista (Over to the Tyre Man): “an expert, the only person who, due to his skills and experience, can advise the motorist as to the correct use and maintenance and the best choice of tyre to buy”. Needless to say, the tyre to buy was the Cinturato CN54, which allowed for “acceleration and speed, resistance and durability”, akin to and more than a skater, a sidecar champ, and even a mountaineer…

I Seek You, I Film You, I Reward You, “carosello” in eight episodes, 1974

Director: Enrico Sannie. Produced by: RPA

The chain linking Pirelli, the tyre salesman, and the end-consumer continued to work in 1974 with the campaign, both on screen and in the press, Ti cerco, ti filmo, ti premio (I Seek You, I Film You, I Reward You). The formula made use of the technique known as “personality promotion”, in which an imaginary character is used to emotionally involve potential consumers and thus channel their choices. The character in question at the time was a flexible little man – drawn by Alan Fletcher – whose silver figure was clearly visible on a sticker handed over by the tyre salesman to the customer who had changed his tyres and had chosen Pirelli. Various film crews travelled all around Italy looking for cars that had the sticker, and then filmed the driver, who was rewarded. All this was used for television advertising on “Carosello”.

P3 Pirelli. Pneumatic rivoluzionario, TV commercial, 1975. Centro agency

Episode: Japan

A Single Patrimony of Energy and Intelligence: This is what allowed Pirelli to create the P3, but also to export machinery used to manufacture types to the Soviet Union and Iraq, to make rubber pipes for an oil pipeline in the Mediterranean, to lay underwater cables in the Atlantic, and to design a “never yet seen” tidal dam to save Venice. These were the themes used in the advertising campaign for the P3 its first year of life in 1975.

Pirelli è tecnologia. P3 è Pirelli

Advertising/Art/Design

The very concept of a single technological patrimony, of which Pirelli …. was one of the multiple facets.

Pirelli. Pneumatici con la P maiuscola, TV commercial, 1978

Director: Giulio Cingoli. Produced by: Studio Orti

The message of the 1978 advertising campaign is “”For every car in every country”. There are various solutions suggested to communicate, from the “”millipede”” to the shoe of typical countries. And even after the final choice of machine-long P, the question arises of how to make immediate the idea of ​​a range of ninety-seven different pandemics that can provide any driver the right solution. A simple design does not seem to be enough: better to photograph from the truth. The Capital P Pneumatic Ad Campaign is the 1978 advertising campaign signed by the photographer, Adrian Hamilton, using 140 cars of every brand, of every engine size. The campaign will then be announced both in the print version and in the movie and television spot.

Superga, le tue scarpe scelte dai campioni, TV commercial, Centro Agency, 1974

In August 1974 with Panatta; Bertolucci and Barazzutti beat the Romania of Năstase and Țiriac in the Davis Cup. “Italy’s Davis Cup victory wears Superga Sport”, said the advertising campaign: with Panatta endorsing the product, Superga went back to tennis just like in the days of the 2750. In 1973 the Superga Sport brand had indeed been created for sports practice: the new logo brought together the classic S and a stylized “swallow tail”.Under the slogan “your shoes chosen by the champions”, the 1970s flowed past like a big picture card album of Into your tennis shoes the best loved characters in international sports, who increasingly endorsed Superga. Panatta and Bertolucci for tennis, Baronchelli for cycling, Arese for athletics. Gabetta Cantù’s basketball teams, and Federlazio’s volleyball teams all wore Superga Sport. And then there was football, with the Torino of the “twins” Pulici and Graziani, and of the “poet” Claudio Sala. The partnership between Superga and Torino Calico became a sponsorship in 1980, when “Granata” shirts were stitched with the “Swallow” logo, created to characterize Superga’s new sector: sports attire. The years 1980 and 1981 were marked by the last great and successful advertising campaign made by the Centro agency for Superga, signed by the creative Marco Morarelli: Lo stile irresistible (The Irresistible Style). An articulated series of ads that drew from the reality of the early 1980s, from the energy crisis to the doubts as to whether or not to boycott the Moscow Olympics, from the New York blackout to Ronald Reagan. Easy to say that Ivan Lendl – new emerging Superga endorsement – wanted to “step on the toes” of his rival Björn Borg…

New Pirelli Serie Larga. TV commercial, Centro Agency, 1980

The Information Era was just beginning. Computerized design and new technologies allowed for virtual simulations, added a powerful technological connotation to the Pirelli Serie Larga’s promise of safety. It was the image provided by forecasting modeling methods that the 1979 campaign Il nuovo disegno della sicurezza (Safety Has a New Design) was based on, accompanied by a TV commercial in turn characterized by a “pixelated” effect.

Pirellibility. TV commercial, United Kingdom, 1980

Director: Jeffrey Keisler. Produced by: Cucumber Studios

The Pirelli sister company in the United Kingdom revealed its long-standing creative vitality, at least since the production of the film La lepre e la tartaruga (The Hare and the Tortoise), depicting a chase between a Jaguar and a truck along the Autostrada del Sole, under the sign of the Cinturato. This was released just a couple of years after the launch of the Pirelli Calendar, and the glossy covers of the house organs “Pirellicon” and “Pirelli World”, signed by the art editor Michael Tucker. In addition to “The Cal”, the collaboration with the designer Derek Forsyth generated a whole series of graphic-advertising works, amongst which the family feeling used for the Pirelli P600 and P700 campaigns. As for television, Pirellitbility – a pioneer of animated digitalization – was produced as early as 1980, and after that, in 1986, under the headline “Gripping Stuff”, the thriller Double Indemnity that would make history in the English-speaking markets, until 1989, with the release of the epic The Day the Earth Stood Still, with the Pirelli P Zero as protagonist on the Lamborghini Countach Anniversary.

Pirelli. When the Tyre Makes the Car. TV commercial, Centro Agency, 1981

In 1981 the Serie Larga – which had become the epitome of “safety according to Pirelli” – demonstrated what happens “when it’s the tyre that makes the car”. In the 1982 campaign which also included a TV commercial version, they became the “Magnificent Six” that went forth in Western style “towards the sprint economy”, and then the following year, were affirmed as “the tires that have changed types”.

Pirelli. Quando il pneumatico fa l’automobile. Pubblicità televisiva, agenzia Centro, 1983

Il 1983 si chiude con un paio di soggetti singoli – restando all’interno della gamma Serie Larga – per una campagna definita “pubblicità tecnologico-spettacolare”, tra uno spot televisivo del P4 “realizzato impiegando tutti i marchingegni più strani” e un annuncio stampa sul P8 che utilizza una “calligrafia da computer per creare una certa atmosfera tecnologica”

Que categoria!

Brazil is a story unto itself, with a varied and wide production of TV campaigns starting from the mid-1970s, when Pirelli Ilio for commercial vehicles was the brave sheriff of the Westerns. In the cycle of mini-comedies entitled Que category! from 1981, famous testimonials such as the footballer Sócrates, the actress Kate Lyra, the racing car driver Wilson Fittipaldi entered a tyre shop and chose the “Cinturaço”, while Pantera of the late 1980s was all played out on the car chase between Diabolic’s black Jaguar E-type and the black panther whose claws traced the pattern of the Pirelli P600.

Pirelli P700 Pirelli P600, TV commercial, United Kingdom, 1980. Dereck Forsyth Partnership

The Pirelli sister company in the United Kingdom revealed its long-standing creative vitality, at least since the production of the film La lepre e la tartaruga (The Hare and the Tortoise), depicting a chase between a Jaguar and a truck along the Autostrada del Sole, under the sign of the Cinturato. This was released just a couple of years after the launch of the Pirelli Calendar, and the glossy covers of the house organs “Pirellicon” and “Pirelli World”, signed by the art editor Michael Tucker. In addition to “The Cal”, the collaboration with the designer Derek Forsyth generated a whole series of graphic-advertising works, amongst which the family feeling used for the Pirelli P600 and P700 campaigns. As for television, Pirellitbility – a pioneer of animated digitalization – was produced as early as 1980, and after that, in 1986, under the headline “Gripping Stuff”, the thriller Double Indemnity that would make history in the English-speaking markets, until 1989, with the release of the epic The Day the Earth Stood Still, with the Pirelli P Zero as protagonist on the Lamborghini Countach Anniversary.

Double Indemnity

The Pirelli sister company in the United Kingdom revealed its long-standing creative vitality, at least since the production of the film La lepre e la tartaruga (The Hare and the Tortoise), depicting a chase between a Jaguar and a truck along the Autostrada del Sole, under the sign of the Cinturato. This was released just a couple of years after the launch of the Pirelli Calendar, and the glossy covers of the house organs “Pirellicon” and “Pirelli World”, signed by the art editor Michael Tucker. In addition to “The Cal”, the collaboration with the designer Derek Forsyth generated a whole series of graphic-advertising works, amongst which the family feeling used for the Pirelli P600 and P700 campaigns. As for television, Pirellitbility – a pioneer of animated digitalization – was produced as early as 1980, and after that, in 1986, under the headline “Gripping Stuff”, the thriller Double Indemnity that would make history in the English-speaking markets, until 1989, with the release of the epic The Day the Earth Stood Still, with the Pirelli P Zero as protagonist on the Lamborghini Countach Anniversary.

Pirelli. La base della sicurezza, TV commercial, Italy, Centro agency, 1986

The fair-haired boy plays in the middle of the road as though he were isolated from everything: his gaze, as he watches a white car heads towards him and brake in the nick of time, is enigmatic. No words, no music, just his “vroom vroom” as he pushes the toy car, and then the screech of the tires that grip the asphalt. This is La base della sicurezza (The Basis of Safety), the 1986 commercial destined for the Italian public. No mention but highly recognizable, is the Pirelli P600 model.

Una strada nel parco, TV commercial, Centro agency, 1987

The whole Pirelli range, covering every need. A message anticipated by the campaign “Che tips see”? in 1985 and revived a few years later, in 1987, with the TV commercial Una strada new park (A Road in the Park). A sequence shot with a soft, peaceful atmosphere, gentle lighting, a bench, trees in the background. The protagonists pass, a man alights from a car – Safety – carrying a musical instrument case. A truck drives past: Duration. A motorbike – Acceleration – stops and another person gets off holding a case. A tractor covers the same scene once more: Strength. When it finally takes off, the two are playing a jazz piece while standing in front of the bench. Forty-five seconds of pure sensations, with no “electronic effects or neurotic staccatos”: four tires in harmony with one another.

Com Pirelli você sabe con que anda, TV commercial, Brazil, 1989

Brazil is a story unto itself, with a varied and wide production of TV campaigns starting from the mid-1970s, when Pirelli Ilio for commercial vehicles was the brave sheriff of the Westerns. In the cycle of mini-comedies entitled Que category! from 1981, famous testimonials such as the footballer Sócrates, the actress Kate Lyra, the racing car driver Wilson Fittipaldi entered a tyre shop and chose the “Cinturaço”, while Pantera of the late 1980s was all played out on the car chase between Diabolic’s black Jaguar E-type and the black panther whose claws traced the pattern of the Pirelli P600.

The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Pirelli sister company in the United Kingdom revealed its long-standing creative vitality, at least since the production of the film La lepre e la tartaruga (The Hare and the Tortoise), depicting a chase between a Jaguar and a truck along the Autostrada del Sole, under the sign of the Cinturato. This was released just a couple of years after the launch of the Pirelli Calendar, and the glossy covers of the house organs “Pirellicon” and “Pirelli World”, signed by the art editor Michael Tucker. In addition to “The Cal”, the collaboration with the designer Derek Forsyth generated a whole series of graphic-advertising works, amongst which the family feeling used for the Pirelli P600 and P700 campaigns. As for television, Pirellitbility – a pioneer of animated digitalization – was produced as early as 1980, and after that, in 1986, under the headline “Gripping Stuff”, the thriller Double Indemnity that would make history in the English-speaking markets, until 1989, with the release of the epic The Day the Earth Stood Still, with the Pirelli P Zero as protagonist on the Lamborghini Countach Anniversary.

The Most Wanted Tyres

In 1983, the French-speaking public witnessed the appearance of the metallic humanoid in a hyper-technological atmosphere and which is dragged from the scene by a wheel. This was Une sculpture d’vance produced in print and video formats, with the “performance” version for the P6, and the “économie” version for the P8. During those same years, the Scandinavian market responded with The Most Wanted Tyres, showing a young woman (in high red heels) who goes from the Ferrari (of course red) of Phonecall to the Ferrari (again red) of Cardeal.

If You’re Going to Drive, Drive, TV commercial, USA, 1993. Young & Rubicam

Director: Willy van der Vlugt

In 1993 came the decision to go back to the video and associate the now global campaign “If You’re Going to Drive, Drive” to a celebrity endorsement. A well-known face, one that would remind the motorist that the Pirelli brand has always been a mix of performance and fascination. What was needed was a symbol: a woman of character. And the star of “united” Pirelli was the actress Sharon Stone, fresh from her worldwide success with Basic Instinct, released in 1992. In the commercial made by the Dutch director Willy van der Vlugt, the American star reclaimed the importance of the universal endorsement that had perhaps last been seen with Fangio and the Cinturato. The one hundred seconds of Driving Instinct capture millions of European viewers, and the Pirelli tyre that she brushes up against as she gets into the car is a mere detail.

Power is Nothing Without Control, TV commercial, 1995, Young and Rubicam

Director: Gerard De Thame, United Kingdom

From press to video. In 1995 the campaign Power is nothing without control produced a TV commercial that in turn became a cult. Directed by Gerard deThame, Carl Lewis was filmed during a mad race full of special effects along the New York skyline: up the Statue of Liberty, then along Brooklyn Bridge and then again on the waters of the Hudson River and all the way up to the top of the Chrysler Building. The final images reveal the secret of the magical race: the sole of Lewis’ foot etched with the same pattern as the tread on the P6000.
Carl Lewis loaned his image to the Pirelli types until 1996, with a unique foray into the motorbike line as well; steel teeth devouring the road for the sporting Dragon, panther claws for the off-road MT80 RS. A visual concept that harked back to automobile tires with the 1996 commercial for the ultra-high performance Pirelli P7000. And lastly, again a Carl Lewis – only reproduced in a drawing this time – who continued his race to celebrate “P Zero the Hero”.

P7000, TV commercial, Young and Rubicam, 1996

Carl Lewis loaned his image to the Pirelli types until 1996, with a unique foray into the motorbike line as well; steel teeth devouring the road for the sporting Dragon, panther claws for the off-road MT80 RS. A visual concept that harked back to automobile tires with the 1996 commercial for the ultra-high performance Pirelli P7000. And lastly, again a Carl Lewis – only reproduced in a drawing this time – who continued his race to celebrate “P Zero the Hero”.

The Goddess, TV commercial, Young and Rubicam, 1996

Director Gerard de Thame, United Kingdom

Still looking at the pinnacle of the sports world, in 1997 Carl Lewis was replaced by the French athlete Marie-José Pérec, the fastest woman in the world. Again with Gerard de Thame directing, Marie-Jo revisited in a dream-like key the same race as Carl Lewis’s: no longer New York, now, but a place made of lava and ice, where she must flee from sea creatures, fiery tongues of lava, landslides, and other perils. At the end of it all, Pérec showed her foot as well, revealing the Pirelli tread pattern that had enabled her to flee from danger so fast. A concentrate of special effects, the film took over two months of post-production to make after the shooting between Monument Valley in Utah, a glacier in Alaska, and Buffalo Bill Lake in Wyoming. Marie-Jo’s sprints, leaps and jumps were reconstructed in a hangar at the British airport in Swindon, equipped with fake volcanoes and virtual lightning flashes. Two print pages were also extracted from the commercial, the subject being “Wave” and “Volcano”: Marie-José Pérec linked her own image to the Pirelli P5000 Drago.

Ronaldo Redeemer. TV commercial, Young and Rubicam, Italy, 1999

In June 1995, Pirelli and F.C. International Milano signed a partnership agreement that took the brand of the Long P to the shirts of the Milan-based football club. In 1997 a twenty-one year-old Brazilian attacker, newly crowned Golden Ball winner, named Luís Nazario de Lima, or Ronaldo for short – and later known by his nickname “The Phenomenon” – joined Inter Milan from Barcelona. The union between Ronaldo and the Pirelli logo on his shirt turned the Brazilian talent into an endorsement for the 1998 tyre campaign. Created by Young & Rubicam and produced by the British photographer Ken Griffiths, Ronaldo’s image seen from the shoulders in the same position as the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro immediately became an icon also outside the world of advertising. Again accompanied by the slogan “Power is nothing without control”, the Ronaldo “Corcovado” press campaign was born around such a strong figure, after which it was matched with the new “universal” Pirelli P3000 tyre.

Wild. TV commercial, Armando Testa, 2000

For its 2000-2001 advertising campaign, Pirelli Tyre Sector commissioned the Armando Testa agency, which took over from Young & Rubicam, yet another turnaround for the Group. It was the end of the era of celebrity endorsements to promote its products through the renown of the personalities chosen by the Company, and the beginning of the era in which “the product itself is the star”. The formula “Power is nothing without control” remained the same, of course, but the story being told was a completely different one. “The tyre is endowed with a life of its own – is the idea. All you have to do is let it roll and from an inanimate object it can become an actor playing a part.” They can be hundreds, thousands of actor types: a whole herd of them. All of them racing towards a cliff edge, and then the herd falls into the void because it can’t stop itself in time. Except for one, which remains gripping the last rocky outcrop just before the void: a tyre that has the well-known pattern of the Pirelli P6000. Power is always under control. The TV commercial Wild – also featured in the press release Pinnacle – was directed by Thed Lenssen, at the helm of a group including Allen Hall (Oscar winner for Forrest Gump) for the stage effects, Dane Davis Pop to strong campaigns (Matrix) for sound, Hank Corwin (Natural Born Killers) for production, Harris Savides (videos of Madonna) for lighting. The cliff from which the herd of tires falls – all of them but one – is the same as the one in Colorado from which Thelma and Louise drop to their deaths. Two thousand types launched at 80 km/h down a cliff: filming them from the front were cameramen “protected” by ramps and catapults. Five days of filming, a snow-storm, a camera destroyed by one of the “suicidal” types. For the 2002 TV campaign, the scene moved to the sea. In the commercial The Grip the herd becomes a school of fish which – in a Hemingway-like imaginary – might be marlins.
There’s a boat equipped for deep-sea fishing, and a crew waiting for the catch. It arrives right on time and pulls on the line. The man on the stool winds in the reel but the fish doesn’t surface: indeed, it drags the boat downwards. When the bow and the keel are almost upright, the decision to cut the steel fishing line is the only way out. The marlins – winners of the challenge – emerge one by one almost as if to tease the reckless fisherman. They are Pirelli types, capable of gripping even water. Directed by Jan de Bont, The Grip arrived for the first time in a wonderful world that was being called the Internet.

Autobianchi

In 1967 Ilio Negri systematized the logo for Autobianchi, which was about to be integrated into the Fiat Group, creating the stylized A inserted inside a circle.

Culture, centre of gravity

At the same time as the foundation of “Pirelli. Rivista d’informazione e di tecnica”, in the aftermath of the Second World War, the Group set up the Centro Cultural Pirelli: a company library, meetings with authors, plays, concerts, lectures and debates. The brand for the Cultural Centre is the work of the designer Pino Tovaglia: two Cs geometrically arranged around an ideal central core. In more recent times, the logo was modified by revisiting the motif of the two Cs, now side by side almost as though they were the wheels of a car.

A world of sign

Nella seconda metà degli anni Sessanta, la designer Christiane Beylier prova a rendere immediatamente percepibile la dimensione globale del Gruppo Pirelli, del suo essere multinazionale e multiprodotto, in grado di operare in svariati settori. La duttilità del logo con la P lunga le consente di sperimentare un gioco di duplicazioni e proiezioni che farà scuola, ripreso nelle elaborazioni grafiche di Serena e Christa Tschopp.

AGA

The graphic designers’ commitment to the image of the partners of the Diversified Products sector was varied and ongoing. The Centro agency made advertising campaigns for Azienda Roma.

PIRIV

The graphic designers’ commitment to the image of the partners of the Diversified Products sector was varied and ongoing. The Centro agency made advertising campaigns for PIRIV products. Graphics by Robert and Pino Milas.

Azienda Roma

The graphic designers’ commitment to the image of the partners of the Diversified Products sector was varied and ongoing. The Centro agency made advertising campaigns for Azienda Roma.

AIRC

From its foundation in the mid-1960s, the Italian Association to promoting
Cancer Research – AIPRC (later AIRC), is among the Centro’s clients. Indeed, Pirelli was one of the Association’s first supporters, also contributing through the free support offered by its own advertising agency. Designers like Gerhard Forster and François Robert have come to grips with the most feared word of the 20th Century, creating the logo featuring the silhouette of a microscope that is most familiar today.

A Cinturato to win

At the end of 1970, the advertising campaign Cinturato Pirelli vince i rallies (Cinturato Pirelli Wins Rallies) was released with the name of the Hungarian-born and naturalized Argentinian photographer Tomás Gonda. For Pirelli, it was tantamount to the officialization of a wholly new commitment to a motoring discipline that was conquering more and more motor racing enthusiasts.

I Seek You, I Film You, I Reward You

The chain linking Pirelli, the tyre salesman, and the end-consumer continued to work in 1974 with the campaign, both on screen and in the press, Ti cerco, ti filmo, ti premio (I Seek You, I Film You, I Reward You). The formula made use of the technique known as “personality promotion”, in which an imaginary character is used to emotionally involve potential consumers and thus channel their choices. The character in question at the time was a flexible little man – drawn by Alan Fletcher – whose silver figure was clearly visible on a sticker handed over by the tyre salesman to the customer who had changed his tyres and had chosen Pirelli. Various film crews travelled all around Italy looking for cars that had the sticker, and then filmed the driver, who was rewarded. All this was used for television advertising on “Carosello”.

Pirally

“Rallymania” spreads fast in the world of engines: Sandro Funari and Mario Mannucci’s entirely “made in Italy” win in a Lancia Fulvia fitted with Pirelli types at the 1972 “Monte” became a milestone in the history of auto racing. The change made to the historical logo – with the creation of the “Pirally” logo – managed to overcome the restrictions imposed by the corporate image handbooks. The catalyst effect on the Cinturato CN54 continued to be strong; a road tyre that came from the racing experience that could now boast a history of successes, from Monte Carlo to the Tour de Corse, the Elba Rally, the Rand Polski, and the Sanremo Rally.

Jackpot at Montecarlo

Paired with the racing car driver Mario Mannucci, the driver of the Lancia
Starts HF with Pirelli types Sandro Funari won the Monte Carlo Rally in
1975, too. Taking second, third and fourth were the 124 Abarth-Pirellis driven by Hannu Mikkola, Markku Alen, and Fulvio Bacchelli, which was enough to be able to say: “We Hit the Jackpot at Monte Carlo”. Given that the success of the crews equipped with Pirelli rubber was repeated at Monte Carlo in 1976 and then again in 1977, there was no reason not to extend in time the message of the jackpot win to the most famous Casino in the world. Waving a flag at the winner’s finish line was the “Pirelliman”, originally created by Alan Fletcher in 1974 for a very different purpose.

Solari

During the 1970s the great designers of the day tested their skills with advertising graphics for the Cifra line: from Studio Boggieri to Unimark International and Carlo Cattaneo. The unmistakable square shapes of the watches were reproduced in Memor time recorders, Protectron burglar alarms, and Dator calendars.

P3

A Single Patrimony of Energy and Intelligence: This is what allowed Pirelli to create the P3, but also to export machinery used to manufacture types to the Soviet Union and Iraq, to make rubber pipes for an oil pipeline in the Mediterranean, to lay underwater cables in the Atlantic, and to design a “never yet seen” tidal dam to save Venice. These were the themes used in the advertising campaign for the P3 its first year of life in 1975.

Pirelli. Tyres with capital P

The message of the 1978 advertising campaign is “For every car in every country”. There are various solutions suggested to communicate, from the “millipede” to the shoe of typical countries. And even after the final choice of machine-long P, the question arises of how to make immediate the idea of ​​a range of ninety-seven different pandemics that can provide any driver the right solution. A simple design does not seem to be enough: better to photograph from the truth. The Capital P Pneumatic Ad Campaign is the 1978 advertising campaign signed by the photographer, Adrian Hamilton, using 140 cars of every brand, of every engine size. The campaign will then be announced both in the print version and in the movie and television spot.

Ulixes

The graphic designers’ commitment to the image of the partners of the Diversified Products sector was varied and ongoing. The Centro agency made advertising campaigns for Ulixes “diving equipment” whose graphics are entrusted to the graphic artist and art director Ettore Tosi.

Un Cinturato per il mondo

In 1969 one of the names that appeared among Centro agency’s list of names was the Swiss designer François Robert. His signature was on the first tyre campaign the naïve Papà ha scelto Cinturato Pirelli (Daddy Chose Pirelli Cinturato), also used for the campaign for the industrial vehicle radial tyre AT89.

Conduttori d'autore

In 1970, the first issue of the “Cable Review” magazine was published, a specialized publication edited by Cable Sector. The first cover is made by Crosby / Fletcher / Forbes. Between 1970 and 1984 the covers were signed by Tomas Gonda with Antonio Tabet, Edelgard Workman, Christa Tschopp

Mondo in TV_ Creatività inglese

The Pirelli sister company in the United Kingdom revealed its long-standing creative vitality, at least since the production of the film La lepre e la tartaruga (The Hare and the Tortoise), depicting a chase between a Jaguar and a truck along the Autostrada del Sole, under the sign of the Cinturato. This was released just a couple of years after the launch of the Pirelli Calendar, and the glossy covers of the house organs “Pirellicon” and “Pirelli World”, signed by the art editor Michael Tucker. In addition to “The Cal”, the collaboration with the designer Derek Forsyth generated a whole series of graphic-advertising works, amongst which the family feeling used for the Pirelli P600 and P700 campaigns. As for television, Pirellitbility – a pioneer of animated digitalization – was produced as early as 1980, and after that, in 1986, under the headline “Gripping Stuff”, the thriller Double Indemnity that would make history in the English-speaking markets, until 1989, with the release of the epic The Day the Earth Stood Still, with the Pirelli P Zero as protagonist on the Lamborghini Countach Anniversary.

Two wheels for the environment

Founded in 1920, the Association Nazionale Ciclo Motociclo Accessori – a
member of Confindustria – entrusted its own logo to the Centro agency in the late 1970s. The symbol of the stylized motorbike composed from a combination of circles and arrows was successful among motorcycle fans who – every two years – flock to the Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo e Motociclo in Milan. The collaboration between ANCMA and the Milan City Department for Traffic led to public awareness campaigns concerning environmental problems already in the early 1980s.

When the Tyre Makes the Car

In 1981 the Serie Larga – which had become the epitome of “safety according
to Pirelli” – demonstrated what happens “when it’s the tyre that makes the
car”. In the 1982 campaign which also included a TV commercial version, they became the “Magnificent Six” that went forth in Western style “towards the sprint economy”, and then the following year, were affirmed as “the tyres that have changed types”.

What Sort of Person Are You?

“Tell us who you are, what your needs are, your tastes, and we’ll tell you which tyre, chosen from our range, is the right one for you.” The tyre campaign for 1985 was called “Che tips see”? (What Sort of Person Are You?): different faces, different consumer types in search of the tyre that Pirelli had created specially to satisfy their specific needs.

World in tv - Europe

Il pubblico francofono assiste all’apparizione, nel 1983, dell’umanoide metallico che in un’atmosfera ipertecnologica scivola via trascinato da una ruota: è Une sculpture d’avance, declinato – stampa e video – nella versione “performance” per il P6 ed “économie” per il P8. Negli stessi anni il mercato scandinavo risponde con The Most Wanted Tyres, con la ragazza (su tacchi a spillo rossi…) che passa dalla Ferrari (naturalmente rossa) di Phonecall alla Ferrari (sempre rossa) di Cardeal. In Germania si dispiega su più annate e più soggetti Die Beine Ihres Autos, brevi filmati – con versione anche stampa – nei quali i protagonisti si spostano in equilibrio su un pneumatico, come fossero “sulle gambe delle loro auto”.

Nuovi Pirelli Serie Larga

The Information Era was just beginning. Computerized design and new technologies allowed for virtual simulations, added a powerful technological connotation to the Pirelli Serie Larga’s promise of safety. It was the image provided by forecasting modeling methods that the 1979 campaign Il nuovo disegno della sicurezza (Safety Has a New Design) was based on, accompanied by a TV commercial in turn characterized by a “pixelated” effect.

If You’re Going to Drive, Drive

In 1993 came the decision to go back to the video and associate the now global campaign “If You’re Going to Drive, Drive” to a celebrity endorsement.And the star of “united” Pirelli was the actress Sharon Stone, fresh from her worldwide success with Basic Instinct, released in 1992.

Power is Nothing Without Control

The 1994 campaign ”Power is nothing without control” by Young & Rubicam is entrusted to another exceptional testimonial: the Olympic champion Carl Lewis. And the slogan was destined to enter the history of advertising, not only for Pirelli types but for the entire world of communication. The photograph was taken by Annie Leibovitz while the director for the television version is entrusted to Gerard de Thame with amazing special effects. In 1997, another athlete, Marie-Josè Pèrec, became the fastest woman in the world and in 1998 the Brazilian phenomenon Ronaldo with the famous “Corcovado” advertising campaign.

Digital format

"Pirelli Advertising with a Capital P" is also ebook

"Pirelli Advertising with a Capital P” is available in digital format

The restoration of camera-ready artwork for advertisements from 1965 to 1981

The restoration of camera-ready artwork for advertisements from 1965 to 1981

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