75 years of successes and restarts
From 23 April to 30 September 2021
This exhibition is also virtual. Invite your friends to visit it!
In the spring of 2020 Piaggio re-launched a campaign that had won a place in the history of fashion and communication: Let's Vespa, the slogan that accompanied Italy and Europe during post-war reconstruction and the early stages of the economic boom, when Vespa was “a vehicle for everyone”, for the recovery of mobility and therefore freedom.
What does Let's Vespa mean today? It is an exhortation to reclaim our freedom to travel independently and safely, keeping a safe distance, choosing to avoid queues and escape overcrowding and traffic. And Vespa does it as it has always done, with its characteristic style, class and elegance, presenting itself as the symbol of a new, all-Italian renaissance.
The campaign, produced by BBH London, featuring contributions from some renowned international graphic designers, consolidates Vespa’s inseparable link to the art world. Four artists worked with Art Director Pablo Gonzalez De La Pena: British artist Paul Thurlby, France's Quentin Monge, Argentina's Sebastian Curi and the Italian Agostino Iacurci. These four individuals celebrated the reconnection between human beings and what they had missed during the lockdown: going to work, getting out of town or catching up with friends again.
The first version of Let's Vespa appeared in 1950 and featured the artwork of Nino Ferenzi. The Italian was the first to illustrate the successful campaign, but he was later followed by illustrious names from the advertising world, including Bernard Villemot of France and the Italian Zambelli. The message was clear: Vespa was the new way to get around. Faster and easier than the less-than-efficient public transport of the time and more affordable than cars.
Let’s Vespa signified a linguistic revolution, creating a verb from the name of a brand and going on to be used in legendary campaigns such as “Chi Vespa mangia le mele” [Who Vespas eats the apples] and a decade later “Giovane chi Vespa” [The young who Vespa]. Vespa produced a series of messages that have been etched in the collective memory, evidence of an awareness of the social fabric that only Vespa, which immediately became part of everyone's daily life, the subject of personal memories and subjective adventures, could provide.
The exhibition, created entirely with documents from the Piaggio Historical Archives, celebrates the timeless spirit of Let’s Vespa through photographs and advertisements that retrace seventy-five years of a story that has given a new gear to the entire world, spreading Vespa and its lifestyle on roads all over the globe.