Vespa S 50 - Click above for high-res image gallery

Late last year, Vespa USA rolled out a brand new website with an entire section extolling the virtues of purchasing a scooter to replace a second car. To show how much fuel could potentially be saved, the page instantly displays the combined mileage of a typical Vespa scooter and another car, from a compact sedan to a luxury SUV. Click here to give it a shot for yourself.

To further drive that point home, Vespa has just launched a new advertising campaign that features tag lines like "Turns on a Dime, Runs on a Nickel" and "Smart Looks. Smarter Purchase." Paolo Timoni, President and CEO, Piaggio Group Americas, says, "It's the practical side of Vespa ownership, such as the ability for every consumer to save $6,000 per year by reducing their wheel count from eight to six, that this campaign focuses on."

Wait a minute... what's this about saving $6,000 per year by riding a Vespa? According to the Italian scooter manufacturer, it costs just 5-cents per mile to operate a scooter. By way of comparison, a 2008 study by AAA found that a typical SUV costs about 24-cents per mile. Vespa further assumes that you'll drive 5,000 fewer miles with a scooter than an automobile, which makes up for the rest of the financial difference.

While driving less may not be the worst thing in the world for you to do, it also means that the cost savings of a scooter may vary widely from Vespa's $6,000 per year claim. Funny math? A bit. Obviously, the less you drive, the more you save, but that's true no matter what vehicle you own. Regardless, riding a scooter certainly means using a lot less gas, and that's a good thing.

[Source: Vespa]


Vespa's New Interactive Consumer Campaign Gets Personal

If you tweet, rock, dig or spin, would you also scoot? Vespa's digital media campaign asks targeted consumer groups to respond to brand and product benefits

NEW YORK, NY – May 4, 2008 - Piaggio Group Americas, Inc., importer of the iconic Vespa scooter brand, is launching a new national interactive campaign that exclusively connects with consumers on well-defined turf, including more than 120 individual web sites where active enthusiasts with interests like music, electronics, art, conservation and even cars gather. The online campaign, which runs through June 30, 2009, highlights Vespa's many economic benefits with ad tag lines like "Turns on a Dime, Runs on a Nickel" and "Smart Looks. Smarter Purchase." Each ad also includes multiple interactive options to engage the viewer, including an invitation to tune into four branded Vespa radio stations via, register to win a Vespa S 50, send for a free vintage Vespa Tee and take advantage of special financing offers.

"Vespa owners have a common bond – they are passionate about authentic experiences and products that combine both emotional and practical benefits," said Paolo Timoni, President and CEO, Piaggio Group Americas, Inc. "It's the practical side of Vespa ownership, such as the ability for every consumer to save $6000 per year by reducing their wheel count from eight to six, that this campaign focuses on."

Timoni also pointed out that engagement is critical before education. While consumers will discover a clear financial case for scaling back on the overall number of wheels in their garage, as well as the many environmental benefits outlined in the brand's Vespanomics platform, the campaign isn't a lecture. It was designed to be the start of long-term dialogue with like-minded consumers who already value Vespa's brand characteristics, such as freedom from constraints and a spirit of adventure.

As a result, there are several unique consumer calls to action along with every ad served. In the current economic climate where "free" and "fun" are very rare commodities, Vespa's campaign begs to differ. For example, consumers are invited to tune into four Vespa-branded, free radio stations. Depending on what types of tunes move them, music fans can tune into Vespa Mods & Rockers, Vespalicious, Vespa Liberate or Vespa Indie channels. There's also a free Vespa Vintage Tee offer, available online only, for just the cost of shipping and handling as well as the opportunity to win a new-for-2009 Vespa S 50.

Consumers also have the chance to e-mail post card versions of the ads to friends or share and post downloads within their own social networks.

In addition to the national digital media buy, dealership point of sale materials such as posters and window clings along with taggable and downloadable ads and postcards are also included. To further drive local dealer traffic, Vespa is also extending its current 0-0-0 financing offer and adding a special 7.9% program.

New York based Media Kitchen, the interactive media arm of Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners, developed the digital media strategy and will be conducting ongoing indexing and analysis. Darren Herman, head of digital media for the agency, said, "We are excited to launch this multi-dimensional digital campaign for our client, Vespa. As consumers' media habits are fragmenting, we have put Vespa in the hands of consumers via many digital touch-points including streaming music and digital display across many different web properties."

The Vespa campaign creative was handled in-house.

About The Piaggio Group:

Established in 1884 by Rinaldo Piaggio and based in Pontedera (Pisa, Italy), the Piaggio Group is one of the world's top manufacturers of two-wheel motor vehicles. With over 7,000 employees, an annual production of more than 708,000 vehicles in 2007, 5 R&D centers, 7 production facilities in Europe and Asia, and operations in over 50 countries, the Piaggio Group has a consolidated leadership in the European two-wheeler market.

The company produces scooters, motorcycles and mopeds in the 50cc to 1,200 cc displacement range, marketed under the Piaggio, Vespa, Gilera, Derbi, Aprilia, Scarabeo and Moto Guzzi brands. The Group also manufactures three- and four-wheel light transportation vehicles for the Ape, Porter and Quargo ranges.

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