The game of industry

Milano - Spazio Folli

October 9-31, 2015

The Birra Peroni Historical Archive and Museum participated in the iconographic exhibition Il grande gioco dell’industria – The great game of industry. Curated by Francesca Molteni, it opened in Milan, at Spazio Folli 50.0, on 8 October 2015.

The aim of the exhibition was to tell the story of Italian industry through images, drawings and objects from Italian business archives and museums associated with Museimpresa. The exhibits were selected based on their iconic power and the role they played in the economic and cultural history of the country.

As far as Birra Peroni, that could only be the Bionda, the personification of beer dreamed up by art director Armando Testa in 1967, which is a centerpiece of the brand to this day. Instantly iconic, it led to a surge in popularity when introduced, although it did decline as women’s public image evolved in the following decades.

From 1967 through 2003, the ads that Caroselli created for Peroni featured a wealth of directors, musicians and actors who later became stars, among them directors Francesco Maselli, Moraldo Rossi, and Giorgio Capitani; spokesmodels Solvi Stübing, Michele Gastpar, Anneline Kriel, Philippa Lagerback, Adriana Sklenarikova, and Camilla West; actors Francesco Mulè and Mario Girotti (who would one day become Terence Hill), to name a few.

And so at the end of the 1960s, we witnessed the birth of a legend: up until that moment, as Armando Testa recalls, beer was a masculine, summer drink for quenching your thirst. But in the mid-1960s, Birra Peroni was the market leader with a 30% share. A brand image must be created. The Testa Agency had but one task: to reimagine this beer as the most captivating, the most exclusive, the most authoritative on the market. And the woman-as-beer is beautiful but anonymous; she does not “take away” from the product. After only 5 years, male and female consumers alike saw Peroni as the company with the best “brand profile” among all beers.