Zanussi Washing Machine Campaign

Press Campaign for Zanussi Washing Machines.

This print campaign for Zanussi is over 20yrs old –  
but has a little story 
behind it that still makes me smile, today.
I created these ads for Zanussi Thailand, in the land of smiles, while working for an ad agency in Bangkok. The client wanted a change of emphasis in their advertising to highlight the Italian heritage
of the Zanussi brand –  as its origin and background was not well known in the region. Deciding to
have a little fun with the creative, I took stereotypical Italian characters from the worlds of movies
and sport, and used them in a way that even in Thailand, was a bit risky. 

Before the shoot, we asked the photographer's assistant to source an authentic looking imitation handgun for the mafia guy photo. From a hobby or toy shop, antique seller, or somewhere like that.
You know, find something that would look convincing. However, our jaws dropped when the assistant returned about two hours later with a real revolver and 5 bullets.
He'd got it from 'a guy'.

He said 'the guy' had asked him "Do you want bullets too?" 
So he'd replied  "Yes. Okay. Just a couple" 
– thinking his boss and I, might want them as props. 

Nervous about a mysterious firearm in the studio, we immediately prepped and shot the mafia photo first. Then we thoroughly cleaned the gun and bullets of any of our fingerprints before sending the assistant
off as fast as we could, to return it to its mysterious owner. Needless to say, the studio was a much more relaxed place after it had left the building.

Thai people tended to take you very literally. Even the model (sourced by the photographer) turned
out to be a real Italian, on holiday in the country. So I could only presume the gun came from a very
real but local, mafia. And of course, I found out later – it did.
The campaign  won a Bangkok Art Directors Award.
It was also written about in the media section of The Bangkok Post, who curiously described 
the campaign as
 'the first of its kind seen in Thailand'. (Given the mafia involvement, I couldn't really argue with that!)
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