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Campari 150 years


In 2010 Campari celebrated its 150th anniversary.

Campari is the result of the talents of Gaspare Campari – master drink maker born in Cassolnovo (Pavia), and protagonist of a great development that would later affect many international markets.

Today the Campari brand celebrates the passion, the history, the achievements and the communication strategies that contributed to the success of this brand both in Italy and all over the world.

Below is an overview of the main events from Campari’s past that forged its future.


Campari 1860

1860: Campari was born

Campari was born.

Gaspare Campari’s experiments culminated with the invention of Campari, produced ever since using the same ingredients and following his original secret recipe.

Thanks to the prestigious and central position of ‘Caffé Campari’ in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (sold in 1919), Campari has become a successful aperitif, a staple presence at Milan’s social events.

1880: The first Campari advertisement

In 1889, on January the 7th, the first Campari advertisement was published on ‘Corriere della Sera’, the most important Italian newspaper.

In 1890 G. Mora created the first Campari advertising posters.

1880 The first Campari advertisement

1900: The first Campari Calendar

Campari launched its first calendar: a portrait of a woman by Cesare Tallone. Several artists worked to represent Campari in those years, such as the painter and poster artist, Marcello Dudovich (1878-1962) and the engraver, illustrator and set designer Adolfo Magrini (1858-1931).

1900 The first Campari Calendar

1920: Campari and the arts

Marcello Dudovich is the author of the famous poster representing the passionate kiss of two lovers in a private room. The poster is completely coloured in red like the Campari it advertised, an anticipation of the red passion concept of today’s commercials.

Many artists gave their contribution to Campari: Leonetto Cappiello created a series of posters among which the famous Spiritello emerging from an orange peel, a typical artistic image of the period still etched in many people’s memories.

Other artists worked for Campari: Enrico Sacchetti (1877-1967); Primo Sinopico (1889-1949) who created some original images for Campari; the great artist Ugo Mochi (1889-1977) famous for his paper silhouettes; the poster artist Achille Luciano Mauzan (1883-1952); Sergio Bruno, aka Ugo Riberson and Giorgio Federico Dabovich.

1920 Campari and the arts

1930 Camparisoda was born

In those years it was Fortunato Depero’s creativity that contributed to the history of Campari. Camparisoda entered the market with its single-serve bottle designed by Depero himself: it was the very first pre-mixed drink marketed worldwide. The creation of Camparisoda marked a revolution in the Campari production thanks to its innovation and practicality.

The thirties saw new advertising campaigns commissioned to Romoli, Nos, Duse, George Guillermaz, Alessandro Pomi, Alberto Bianchi, Daniele Fontana and Gino Boccasile.

1930 Camparisoda was born

1940 Campari in the post-war years

Carlo Fisanotti, best known as Fisa, launched the new Campari advertising campaign after a forced hiatus due to the war.

1940 Campari in the post-war years

1950 Campari and the world of sports

In the 1950’s some artists such as Felice Mosca, Attilio Rossi and Giovanni Mingozzi illustrated Campari’s energy in posters inspired by the world of sports. Nino Nanni (1888-1969) had the idea of the Campari bottle circling the planet Earth like a Sputnik.

1950 Campari and the world of sports

1960 The name Campari in a graphic declination

The 1960’s marked a significant turning point for the communication strategy of the Campari brand, with a new graphic approach created by Leonardo Stroppa (1900-1991), Guido Crepax (1933-2003) and Franz Marangolo. In 1964 Bruno Munari produced the manifesto ‘Declinazione grafica del nome Campari’ (Graphic Declination of the name Campari) for the opening of the first subway line of Milan.

His artwork is now permanently exhibited at the Modern Art Museum in New York.

1960 The name Campari in a graphic declination
Campari David Niven

1970 Campari and the movie actors

Some great movie actors have acted as testimonials for Campari:

David Niven, Humphrey Bogart and Nino Manfredi a well-known Italian actor of the time.


CAMPARI 1992 Glaser

1980 Federico Fellini filmed Campari

Milton Glaser was one of the designers of the 1980’s advertising posters.

For Campari the great director Federico Fellini directed his very first short film commercial. The architect Matteo Thun created gadgets and promotional merchandise for Campari. Among the artworks, two bottles, Foscarina (1990) and Dogaressa (1992), were produced in limited edition.

Franco Scepi shot a commercial with Kelly Le Brock, the famous woman in red, featuring as protagonist: ‘Campari, It’s Fantasy’.


CAMPARI 1990 Nespolo

1990 Campari is red passion

The painter Ugo Nespolo made a billboard and a commercial for the Soccer World Cup hosted in Italy. Campari launched a new communications approach with the concept of red passion, employing unconventional tones to express this idea.

The advertisements of the 1990’s were specially created for both the television and the print advertising campaigns, focussing on the four fundamental values of the brand: passion, internationalism, uniqueness and prestige.

Towards the end of the 1990’s Campari started a new collaboration with the well-known director of Indian origins Tarsem who filmed the commercial ‘Il Graffio’ (The Scratch), the first advertisement to broach the subject of female homosexuality in Italy.

2000 Global press and television advertising campaigns

The year 2010 marks the 11th edition of the Campari Calendar. Over the years it has been realized by important and talented photographers of international fame. The collaboration with Tarsem continued with the commercial ‘Il Duello’ (the Duel) a masterclass of photography, mysterious settings, challenges and passion. Matthew Rolston directed the sultry Salma Hayek in the commercial ‘Le Connaisseur’ shot inside the fictional Hotel Campari for the first global tv campaign of the brand. Salma Hayek also starred in the Campari Calendar photographed by Mario Testino. The latest International Campari campaign to be directed by Jean Paul Goude, the celebrated French designer, photographer and director of commercials, resumed the plot of Hotel Campari, moving it to the Campari Club where everything is possible. Jessica Alba is the protagonist of the commercial and of the twelve photos of the 2009 Campari Calendar taken by Mario Testino.

Campari Salma Hayek Jessica Alba

2010 Campari celebrates its 150th anniversary

In the year of its 150th anniversary, Campari has chosen the seductive Olga Kurylenko as protagonist, captured by the photographer Simone Nervi. Milan, the nerve centre of Campari’s history, was the chosen location for the pictures in this year’s calendar, named Campari Milano. In the new Galleria Campari it is possible to see the most significant art works of Campari’s history as well as a temporary exhibition ‘Depero con Campari’ (Depero with Campari).assume vivid astro focus (avaf), Vanessa Beecroft and Tobias Rehberger: a well-known collective and two renowned artists of international stature, promote the 150th anniversary of Campari with three celebratory labels in limited edition, the Campari Art Labels.

Campari Olga Kurylenko





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