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Year after year: Lavazza's flair for advertising

Lavazza has always been a company with an innovative approach to advertising.
The brand strategies applied by the company during its early years were revolutionary for Italy, even at that time. Then came the real advertising era, when Emilio Lavazza joined the company and met Armando Testa, one of the pioneers of Italian advertising.

Their collaboration began in 1958 with the Paulista campaign, and has moved from the old into the new, encompassing every possible style and artistic trend.

The history of Lavazza communication tells of the unique understanding between an inspired, forward-thinking client and a creative, equally innovative supplier.
The result is a successful coexistence between two completely different genres: traditional Italian comedy as represented in the Paradiso campaign, and the international reach of the stylish Calendar campaigns.

The first 20 years of the Calendar, the first 150 years of Italy. 2011-2012 The first 20 years of the Calendar, the first 150 years of Italy



Lavazza was a regular feature at the celebrations of 150 years of the unification of Italy. The only official coffee at the "Esperienza Italia" 150 events was Lavazza, served in a special commemorative red, white and green cup, designed by Lavazza to mark the occasion. All seven of the exhibitions included in the celebrations were sponsored by Lavazza, including the remarkable tribute to Leonardo Da Vinci, the exhibition “Leonardo: the Genius, the Myth”.

2011 was also the year in which the Lavazza Calendar celebrated its 20th anniversary. Annie Leibovitz, Helmut Newton, Ellen von Unwerth, Ferdinando Scianna, Albert Watson, David LaChapelle, Jean-Baptiste Mondino and Eugenio Recuenco are a few of the great photographers who have worked together with the brand.
Lavazza paid tribute to them with the multimedia project “Con te partirò” (an exhibition at the Triennale in Milan, a digital campaign and a photographic monograph) to celebrate the launch of the twentieth Calendar in October 2011.

For the occasion, Lavazza launched a photo- scouting initiative to find talented photographers to interpret the themes that marked the event: Travel and Seduction. The selection process was entrusted to well-known designer Fabio Novembre.

2011 was also the year in which Lavazza became official supplier of the Wimbledon tennis tournament. At last, players and spectators alike were able to enjoy a real Italian espresso.
The partnership was launched with and supported by an integrated advertising campaign, produced in collaboration with:

  • Armando Testa (who designed and produced the Lavazza and Wimbledon logo, a dedicated campaign and stop motion animation)
  • LBI Group Milano (digital marketing - microsite and the mobile app "We are the Queue")
  • Promoconvention (management of the event and video contributions)

The 2011 Lavazza ad campaign at an international level featured the world of top gastronomy: two undisputed stars of the calibre of Ferran Adrià and Antonino Cannavacciuolo, two different visions of food — groundbreaking innovation and strict respect for tradition — were harmoniously reconciled by the fact that they agreed on one thing - Lavazza is the only coffee to be served.


The Paradiso campaign was updated once more, welcoming Enrico Brignano into its heavenly landscape. It was the star’s first appearance as a product ambassador in a TV commercial.
Brignano, at a particularly high point in his career, added the touch of novelty that was needed to continue the natural evolution of Italy’s longest-running and best-loved TV campaign.

The Paradiso campaign celebrated its 15th birthday 2009-2010



5 years after the launch of the ¡Tierra! project, Lavazza renewed its collaboration with the famous photographer, Steve McCurry. Three exclusive shots taken from the same project, documenting Lavazza’s continuous commitment to environmental and cultural sustainability, were put on show at his personal exhibition at the Palazzo della Ragione, Milan.

At “Identità Golose 2009”, Lavazza presented Espoon, a perforated coffee spoon designed by the chef Davide Oldani, produced by the Lavazza Training Center. This incredibly simple yet effective utensil has been designed especially to stir in sugar without dispersing the heat of the coffee, and keeping the crema intact.

15th anniversary of the Paradiso campaign: more than 60 episodes featuring outstanding celebrity ambassadors converted a simple commercial into a don’t-miss event for millions of TV viewers. According to Giuseppe Lavazza, Vice President of the Lavazza Group, “Our Heaven is more than a campaign: It’s a concept that is dear to all of us, a key part of our brand image.”

Watch the Lavazza TV commercials.

The 2010 The Lavazza calendar featured photographs by Miles Aldridge, under the creative direction of Armando Testa.

Design and top gastronomy 2008 Design and top gastronomy


Watch the Lavazza TV commercials. The 2008 Lavazza calendar and campaign featured photographs by Finlay MacKay.

Lavazza put together a book-manifesto that celebrated Lavazza’s passion for design, through the icons of the company. It was edited by Virginio Briatore, and tells the story of how the company became a “factory of contemporary style”: not only did it manufacture products, but above all ideas, messages and lifestyles. To find out more, visit the dedicated section.


Pure style and social responsibility: two sides of the same coin. 2003-2007 Pure style and social responsibility: two sides of the same coin



The synergies between the international campaign and calendar continued. The Lavazza ads and posters representing the increasingly well-defined, distinctive Lavazza style, were taken from the 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 calendars, featuring photographs by Jean-Baptiste Mondino, Le Gouès, Erwin Olaf, Ellen von Unwerth and Eugenio Recuenco.

The Lavazza Foundation launched ¡Tierra!:

  • a sustainability project aiming for social development and economic growth of the communities of small-scale coffee-growers. Starting with Honduras, Colombia and Peru, the project has now extended into Brazil, India and Tanzania;
  • a photographic reportage by Steve McCurry
  • a new premium coffee blend

The return of Carmencita! The ultimate symbol of the history of Lavazza advertising, and the star of Carosello from 1964 to 1975, Carmencita returned to the small screen with a cult sitcom which ran for 12 episodes. Non-conformist, ironic, full of personality and humour. The sitcom also supported the launch of the Carmencita blend.
Watch some entertaining clips from the sitcom.

The Paradiso campaign introduced a series of new situations for the two “heavenly” stars, who treated their fans to a never-ending series of gags and one-liners.
Watch the Lavazza TV commercials.

Lavazza, vitality and joie de vivre through coffee 2000-2002 Lavazza, vitality and joie de vivre through coffee



Increasingly active in the field of international advertising, Lavazza was now targeting a wider public with a diverse range of consumption habits. The result was the concept for the 2000 campaign: “Get the best out of life with Lavazza, the Italian coffee”. The 2000 Lavazza calendar featured photographs by Elliott Erwitt.

The 2001 Lavazza calendar featured photographs by Martine Franck and Richard Kalvar.

A radical turning point for the international image of Lavazza, as it embarks on an exuberant, transgressive style. For the first time, the international campaign and calendar were based on the same strategy, and were entrusted to the same photographer, David LaChapelle.

The 2002 calendar was published in color for the first time, and featured pictures created especially for the press campaigns.

The Paradiso campaign, the global European campaign and “Segno Lavazza” 1995-1999 The Paradiso campaign, the global European campaign and “Segno Lavazza”



Without coffee you wouldn't even be happy in Heaven. This is the basic idea behind the new Italian Paradiso campaign, starring Tullio Solenghi and Riccardo Garrone as St Peter. The directors included Gabriele Salvatores and Alessandro D'Alatri. Watch the Lavazza TV commercials.
Lavazza continued its commitment to international advertising:
  - In France with the poster campaign "Bel Canto".
  - In Germany, with the “Wie in Italien” (Like Italy) campaign featuring the star of the 1995 calendar, Maria Grazia Cucinotta.

Launch of Lavazza's first European-wide campaign based on the shared values of coffee and the brand (Lavazza is a “little sip of Italy”). The campaign incorporated 2 TV commercials and 4 press ads. The 1995 Lavazza calendar featured photographs by Ellen von Unwerth.

The new campaign dedicated to bars and cafes re-established Lavazza's leadership in the Ho.Re.Ca. sector. The payoff “Lavazza brings out the genius in you” brought together various aspects (quality, experience and training), presented by a "genial" barista, symbolising the encounter relationship between the company and its customers. The 1996 Lavazza calendar featured photographs by Ferdinando Scianna.

This year saw the launch of “Segno Lavazza”, a complete line of accessories and furnishings for bars and cafés, including cups and signage, based on a stylised “A” of the Lavazza logo. The project was intended to consolidate the brand’s identity and enhance its visibility in the Ho.Re.Ca. industry, by rewarding the professionalism of baristas and enhancing the customer experience. The 1997 Lavazza calendar featured photographs by Albert Watson.

This year saw the first press campaign for the Lavazza Espresso Point system, addressed directly to those who drink coffee at work: "The great espresso for small environments". The 1998 Lavazza calendar featured photographs by Marino Parisotto.

The 1999 Lavazza calendar featured photographs by Magnum Photos.

Arrival of the calendars, new product ambassadors and the international campaigns. 1993-1994 Arrival of the calendars, new ambassadors and the international campaigns



Lavazza inaugurated the prestigious tradition of designer calendars. In 1993 and 1994, the company called on the services of master photographer Helmut Newton.

After 17 years, Lavazza changed its advertising strategy, moving on from the Manfredi campaign. Four product ambassadors were chosen: Luciano Pavarotti, Monica Vitti, Giorgio Forattini and Bud Spencer. Watch the Lavazza TV commercials.

Internationally, Lavazza developed different TV campaigns for each country, with the aim of raising the brand's expansion and awareness, again accompanied by the concept of Italian style:

  • Germany 1993-94 “Soul of Espresso”.
  • Switzerland 1993-94 “L'Italiano vero”.
  • France (1994): adaptation of the Italian Lavazza advertising campaign featuring Luciano Pavarotti and Monica Vitti.
  • United Kingdom (1994): “The Italian expression for coffee”.
New products, new packs and new characters. 1978-1992 New products, new packs and new characters


The first campaign specifically targeting cafes was published in daily papers and the trade press.

This year saw the inauguration of the Locali Storici campaign, which developed the image of Lavazza cafe by associating it with the importance of coffee as a historic and cultural asset.

During this period the first international Lavazza advertising campaigns were launched through the press and on TV. The slogan immediately combined Italian style and espresso coffee, presenting Lavazza on the international scene as Italy's favorite coffee.

The Italian campaign with Nino Manfredi evolved over the years, gradually introducing new ideas and new characters.

The Crema e Gusto product was launched, presented as always by Nino Manfredi, with a new catchphrase: “Crema e Gusto. Any time's the right time”. Lavazza was now the market leader in Italy.

Lavazza Club, “coffee in black tie”, was launched for the high end of the market: exclusive and sophisticated, starting with the name. Once again, the product was incorporated into the Manfredi campaign. Watch the Lavazza TV commercials of the Manfredi Campaign.

La campagna Manfredi. 1977 The Manfredi campaign



Lavazza changed its advertising strategy in order to consolidate the brand, by using a new TV campaign format, adding the influence of brand ambassadors to support the narration: Nino Manfredi, a well-loved personality and a celebrity. Manfredi was the personification of Lavazza coffee until 1993.

The campaign was ground-breaking: used on all the product lines over the years, it fulfilled the objective of focusing attention on the brand while still talking about coffee.
The campaign's slogans became common sayings, thanks to the winning lines:

  • Coffee's a pleasure, and if it isn't good coffee, what's the pleasure?
  • "Lavazza coffee, the more that goes down, the more it picks you up!"

The TV Lavazza commercials were reinforced by press, radio and cinema campaigns.
Watch the Lavazza TV commercials of the Manfredi campaign.

Clear, concrete advertising 1970-1976 Clear, concrete advertising


Advertising now became more concrete and demonstrative, focusing on the products, quality, convenience and ease of use.


New products and specific campaigns were launched (Qualità Oro, Rossa, Blu, Argento, Caffè Espresso in Filtri, Grandi Auguri and Paulista).
The advent of the economic crisis, rising prices and the tendency of competitors to "downsize" the product gave Lavazza the idea of basing its advertising on transparency.
Watch the Caballero and Carmencita Lavazza TV commercials.

Paulista, what a campaign! 1959-1969 Paulista, what a campaign!



Lavazza experimented with the image of a strong brand, independent from the company's logo for the first time with Paulista coffee, ground and packaged in a vacuum-packed tins.


Launch of Qualità Oro, “the coffee for great occasions" and Dek, “decaffeinated, but delicious”: new brands for new markets.


Paulista became an essential feature of a series of comic-musical, cinema-style commercials made with the stop motion animation technique.


Paulista made its first appearance on Carosello with the cartoons, which had already been released at the cinema. Caballero Misterioso and Carmencita, with their rhymes and comical Spanish, instantly became household names: their adventures continued until 1975.

Watch the Caballero and Carmencita Lavazza TV commercials.


From the post-war period to Carosello 1946-1958 From the post-war period to Carosello



The Lavazza brothers launched the first branded coffee. The first Lavazza logo was created.

The first marketing action was the decision to sell the Lavazza blend in pre-packaged bags, branded with the Lavazza logo, in order to advertise the brand's image directly. This was an important innovation, at a time when coffee was still sold loose like other produce in a typical market.

The slogan of the first Lavazza campaign was "Miscela Lavazza... Paradiso in tazza” (“Lavazza… Heaven in a cup”).

When television was first introduced to Italy, the advertising show Carosello was the most popular programme. Lavazza made its mark, of course, with a long series of memorable TV commercials. Thus began the historic collaboration with the Testa studio.