Emily Chung: Mummy Mechanic


Garage Pinup Calendars Turned Artsy

What if you saw this at your mechanic's shop?

In my search for tire pictures, I came across this calendar on the Pirelli Tire website. The project is affectionately called 'The Cal' (they've trademarked that name, by the way) and 2012 marked its 39th year in publication. The calendar's theme this year is “swoon: ecstasy captured in images.”

According to Pirelli's website, “...the Calendar is the icon of Pirelli's communication... In its forty years' history, the Pirelli Calendar has proposed an astonishing array of styles and models of beauty. And now, after 39 editions, it is still a reference point that epitomises the changes and transformations in our society.” Notable models (past and present) in these calendars include Cindy Crawford, Kate Moss, Helena Christensen, and Naomi Campbell.  
I appreciate that Pirelli wants to contribute to the arts—though I'm not sure about their emphasis that these calendars are the “icon of Pirelli's communication”. Pirelli claims to be the world's 5th largest tire manufacturer.  According to their website, “Pirelli is one of the leading manufacturers of high-end and performance [tires], and is striving to become the world leader in this segment by 2015.” And they want to communicate their brand with 'The Cal'? I've used Pirelli tires and they're quite good. I just would've hoped that their iconic way in communicating their product somehow had more to do with the tire. I guess naked tires spread out over a rock wouldn't really put me in ecstasy.
On a side note, one of our suppliers—Wurth—also contributes to the arts with their very own Museum Wurth in Germany and through several associated galleries in Europe.
So I'm curious, there's a bad association with the traditional pinup calendars that linger in old-school auto shops. You know which ones I'm talking about—scantily-clad (or often topless) women in blatant sexual poses. General consensus amongst the industry is that if you're wanting to portray a professional environment, you'll rid the shop of these types of calendars. 
Now what about these Pirelli calendars? The company is clearly positioning them as artistic: “The Pirelli Calendar's photographers have always immortalized a very sophisticated concept of beauty, mid-way between fashion and glamour.” Pirelli has moved into an elite realm, boasting that their “...calendars were hung on garage walls, [and] nowadays they hang in museums.”
You tell me, what would you think if you saw Pirelli's artistic calendars hanging in your local auto repair shop?