Magnum The Kiss of Dante and Beatrice: Bellissimo

Magnum.DanteAnd so to Italy, for the final instalment of our Euro 2020-inspired tour of continental ad campaigns, where Magnum is celebrating another major event. You see, over 700 years ago Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri – that’s Dante to you lot – fell in love with Beatrice Portinari, and she inspired many of his most famous works…Divine Comedy anyone?

But what has this got to do with ice cream, we hear you ask. Well, despite Dante’s dedication, their love never blossomed, so to mark the occasion, Magnum is tapping in to the anniversary, and International Kissing Day of course, by finally bringing them together in a new artwork The Kiss of Dante and Beatrice.

Commissioned from acclaimed Italian artist Roberto Ferri, the piece was unveiled this week in Palazzo Firenze in Rome, the Dante Alighieri Society headquarters, where it will be on display until Sunday. It will also be accessible through a digital exhibition.

According to the official blurb, “the artwork explores the theme of immortal love, where Beatrice’s purity and Dante’s passion merge. The lovers are lost in an embrace with their arms expressing the symbol of infinity: a metaphor for absolute love that transcends the boundaries of time and space”. Who are we to argue?

And there’s more: “In Ferri’s Kiss the powerful drama of Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro meets the aesthetic plasticity of Antonio Canova’s Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss and the heart-breaking narration of Hayez’s famous Bacio.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.

To accompany the unveiling of the artwork, Magnum Italy has also created a film, devised by LOLA MullenLowe. Backed by Lacrimosa from Mozart’s Requiem, the film expresses the passion of Dante and Beatrice and the inspiration that led to the creation of the painting.

Interestingly, the Magnum branding is highly discreet; and there is not even a glimpse of an ice cream, not even at the final shot.

Ferri said: “When I was asked to make The Kiss I knew that I was facing a challenge with immense responsibility, even towards my own artistic identity. I focused on the emotions of Dante and Beatrice and the work gradually took shape, materialising in a triumph of sensuality.”

So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?

Well, put it this way, if the Italian national football team show this much class in Sunday’s Euro 2020 final, the Three Lions will be wishing they were in Dante’s Inferno rather than playing under the Golden Arch.

The painting and film simply ooze class, in a way arguably only the Italians can, and, combined with the subtle use of branding, questo è magnifico, as they say in Rome…

Decision Marketing Adometer: A “veni vidi vici” 10 out of 10

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