Leonardo Di Caprio endorses nature in new Telecom Italia ads

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ROME--Telecom Italia's new commercial starring Hollywood star Leonardo Di Caprio focuseson the joys of nature as part of the company's$55 million rebranding effort.

Created by Leagas Delaney's London and Rome offices, the Telecom Italia spot shows Mr. Di Caprio, 25, admiring insects in a grassy field inItaly's mountainous Abruzzo region.

Dressed casually and sporting a scruffy goatee,Mr. Di Caprio appears lost in thought when hishand-held computer catches his attention with amessage: "When will you be back?" Di Caprio sighsand speaks his only dialogue in the spot, "Notnow," just before the spot fades. The tag line atthe end reads "Technology is important, but sois everything else."

The spot is dubbed into Italian, and finisheswith the red and white Telecom Italia logo andthe words "Internet," "fixed line," "mobile" and"the next thing" fading in and out around it.

"The idea is to create an image for Telecom,"says a Telecom spokesman. "We are the sixth largest telecommunications company in the world,and yet nobody really knows who we are."

Mr. Di Caprio is the latest in a line of famouspersonalities gracing Telecom Italia ads, including Woody Allen, Marlon Brando and Nelson Mandela.Like the previous ads, Mr. Di Caprio doesn't specifically mention or endorse any Telecom Italiaproducts or services. All four ads carry a strictrule prohibiting use outside Italy.

Company officials say the Di Caprio spot isn'tnecessarily the final spot in the series, althoughno other ads are currently in the works.

Copyright September 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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