Above & below: The paparazzi and the star. Tom Stoddart





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Federico Fellini’s 1960 film La Dolce Vita revealed the decadent and glamorous side of Italian life as the country was emerging from wartime austerity. It celebrated and questioned the shallowness of frivolous lives, but its enduring contribution to culture is the style and cool of the world it portrays.

“It’s not an amazing film, but its effect was amazing,” says Ian Cassie, Founder and Creative Director of The Bank. “It introduced the world to Italy and Italian style, cappuccino bars, suits, sunglasses and scooters.”


INFLUENTIAL
Cassie believes the film is best known because Mods, a ’60s London-based youth movement, adopted its style.

The Bank is the lead creative agency for the Italian beer brand Peroni and its parent company SABMiller. The agency has recreated scenes from Fellini’s film for a campaign to promote Peroni’s international beer brand Nastro Azzurro.

“It’s not an amazing film, but its effect was amazing,” says Ian Cassie, Founder and Creative Director of The Bank. “It introduced the world to Italy and Italian style, cappuccino bars, suits, sunglasses and scooters.”

“Birra Peroni was launched in 1964 on the back of Italian style,” says Cassie. Though the beer is owned by a large multinational brewery, Nastro Azzurro is still brewed in Italy to the original recipe. “It’s properly Italian,” says Cassie.

Peroni would argue that its beer was born out of the same cultural beliefs depicted in La Dolce Vita, and shares the same attitude toward style, which is why it’s paying homage to the film.

“We’re going back to the truth, which in advertising is always the best thing,” says Cassie. “We’re going for the top style. Not the mafia, not spaghetti-eating competitions, not the Vatican.”

Award-winning photojournalist Tom Stoddart (see ‘Walk Don’t Run’) was selected to conduct the shoot. He is known for his accounts of famines, sieges, ethnic cleansing and other stories of a world in trouble – all a long way from the good life.

The scenes were shot in South Africa and in Rome. The crew got access to the Trevi Fountain, marking the first time it had been commercially used since Anita Ekberg’s original scenes in La Dolce Vita. South African model Landi Swanepoel got the Ekberg role. “She’s Bardot-esque rather than the statuesque Ekberg,” says Cassie.

“We spent as much time casting the paparazzi as we did the leads. Tom was on a winner whoever he shot. They didn’t all look like they’d walked out of a model catalogue.”


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