Saturday, August 23, 2008

Carosello – Italian Ads

Italian Carosello LogoMina Carosello Ad Barilla 1967
Left: Carosello Logo. Right: Mina surrounded by boxes of Barilla pasta in a 1967 Carosello Barilla ad.

We were out to dinner with our Italian friends and the talk turned to music – as it always happens when we are around. They mentioned that the carosello ads that used to appear on Italian TV. Intrigued, we looked them up and found an interesting story of the Italian media culture. 

Carosello ads aired just before bedtime (for children) at 8:45pm from the late 1950s to the mid 1970s and were a cultural touchstone for those that grew up watching them. As pointed out on bavatuesdays, the ads are not always obvious in terms of what they are selling. You have to wait and watch them to see where they are going. 

A list of ads can be found at with some video clips (you have to wait a bit to get the video). YouTube may be more useful for a quick fix. 

In this carosello video from 1967, in the first 30 seconds of the video can you tell what Mina is selling? 

Mina is selling Barilla pasta in that clip. The first few frames of the clip say "Barilla presenta Mina".  But before getting to the pasta, she is sings the song Ta ra ta ta Fumo Blu (1967) about how she loves a man who knows how to smoke. To her, that’s a real man. The lyrics are:

Con me
Tu puoi fumare la tua pipa quando vuoi
Perché mi piaci molto di più
E sei così romantico

Fumo blu, fumo blu
Una nuvola e dentro tu
E poi, e poi
Se un uomo sa di fumo
Ma sì, ma sì
È veramente un uomo
Io ti amerò finché vorrai
Proprio perché sei così

Which can be translated as:

With me
You can smoke your pipe when you want
Because I like you even more
And you are so romantic

Blue smoke, blue smoke
A cloud with you inside
A man who smells like smoke (or knows how to smoke)
Ah yes
Is truly a man
I'll love you as long as you want
Because you are like that

At the end of the Fumo Blu Carosello clip, Mina does a spot for Barilla pasta and she says how Barilla pasta reveals the grand chef in you! She says:
Con Barilla
Capolavoro di pasta
Potete fare ogni giorno 
Un capolavoro di buona cucina
B come buona cucina
B come Barilla
Con Barilla 
Rivelate la gran cuoca che c'è in voi
É così davvero
C'e una gran cuoca in voi 
E Barilla la rivela

Which can be translated as:
With Barilla
Masterpiece of pasta
Every day you can make
A masterpiece of beautiful cooking
B for good cooking
B for Barilla
With Barilla
Reveal the great cook in you
That's a fact
There a great cook in you
And Barilla reveals it
In this related YouTube video with Mina, you even get cooking tips for the pasta, but you have to wait to the end of the music video naturally. 

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