Global highlight: Esselunga's astrological campaign

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Every year Italians look forward to the new Esselunga campaign and wonder what theme the leading Italian supermarket chain will choose for its monthly billboards, some of which are in the Louvre's permanent advertising exhibition in Paris.

In 2006, the theme is the signs of the zodiac. August was Leo, the lion, depicted as a half-shucked ear of corn with a head of golden kernels and the husk a tumbling mane. May was Taurus, a croissant with upturned ends like a bull's horns. The tagline for Esselunga, a supermarket group with sales of about $6 billion a year, is "Under the sign of quality." The agency is Italy's largest, Armando Testa Group, Milan.

Whatever the theme, the clever images are all about food. One year, the theme was celebrities, such as John Lemon (a lemon with dark glasses). Another year, it was holidays, like a cherry in a Santa's hat for Cherry Christmas, and a head of garlic under a peaked witch's hat to represent Aglioween ("aglio" is garlic in Italian).

Esselunga got so many requests for posters of the ads that for a while the company put them on little calendars. They proved so popular that the supermarket couldn't print them up and distribute them at checkout counters fast enough. Now, Italians can go to the website at, click Intrattenimento (Entertainment) and choose any Esselunga ads from the decade-long campaign to create and print out their own personalized monthly or full-year calendars.
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