Advertisement and imagination on wheels

At one point in the history of Italian advertisement, huge cutouts in the shape of bottles and canned meat started appearing on car roofs; there were shoes and tubes of toothpaste, odd torpedoes, and sharks.

They were the “advertisement vehicles” that invaded Italian streets in the 1950s and 1960s, to promote the widest possible range of products in the country’s post-war economy on the verge of its boom.

The odd silhouettes started peeping out in 1946, during the revived Giro d’Italia. Italian television and its fantastic “Carosello” would not be born until 1954, so cars at the time were the perfect medium for dynamic advertisement communication. It was, in a way, a creative evolution of a tried and tested method: streetcars and busses that carried posters on their sides from square to square and down every street.

The striking vehicles were the creation of many car body designers, including the Fissore brothers, Boneschi, Mantelli, Borsani, Monviso, Coriasco, Barbi, Zagato, and many others.

Enjoy this parade of clever, inventive advertisement cars.

Photos via: Paolo Fissore, “La pubblicità mette le ruote”, Automobile Club Cuneo, Savigliano 2004

WEEKLY POSTCARD

Most Read

The wondrous Gothic, medieval frescoes of the Oratory of San Pellegrino

The Oratory of San Pellegrino is located in Bominaco, a hamlet not far from Caporciano, in the province of L'Aquila. It was probably commissioned...

LUMEN: a museum of photography, 2,275 meters up high

by Barbara Palladino On the top of the Kronplatz (or Plan de Corones), near Brunico (Bolzano) – an enchanted place that only the mountains could create...

Sicilian Moor heads: a legend of universal love

by Barbara Palladino “Moor heads” or “teste di moro” are colorful, ceramic vases that represent the face of a man and a woman, with a...

A legend of love at the castle of Torrechiara, “nunc et semper”

by Barbara Palladino The Castle of Torrechiara rises next to the medieval town of the same name in Langhirano, in the province of Parma. On its...