Young and Rubicam has signed up the Olympic gold medallist,
Marie-Jo Perec, to front this year’s commercial for Pirelli Tyres.
The ad, which follows on from the previous film featuring Carl Lewis,
opens on Perec running through a snow-covered landscape, fleeing from a
Perec manages to escape down a tunnel, but is then chased by a huge jet
of water, before scrambling through a hole in a dam. She runs with
perfect sureness of foot down the side of the dam, as the water crashes
through the hole.
Perec then jumps to the side of an erupting volcano and is seen running
through molten lava, before scaling a rock pinnacle and leaping to
safety from the top. The endline is: ’Power is nothing without
The TV work will be supported by a print campaign which will run across
Both the print ads and TV spots were written by Judy Kingsley and art
directed by Mark Edwards. The director was Gerard De Thame, who also
directed Lewis in the previous commercial in the campaign. He works
through his own company, Gerard De Thame Films.
The print photography was done by Russell Porcas, and the media buying
is through Mediapolis.
The ad was filmed over six weeks on location in the US, and in two
converted aircraft hangers in the UK. Footage of Perec running was
superimposed on to the location shots, and special effects were added in
post-production, which took eight weeks.
The French-born Perec, who has won three gold medals and has been world
champion in the 400 metres twice, is the third star to front a Pirelli
The actress Sharon Stone and Olympic medallist Lewis have both starred
in commercials for the tyre company.
Pirelli’s last ad was two years ago, with the spot featuring Lewis
leaping off the Statue of Liberty and running on water.