Power is nothing without control

Pirelli SCROLL TO READ STORIA N.82 / 110

The campaign poster saw ‘Ronnie’ with his arms outstretched, recreating the pose as two symbols of the country were brought together. It was a genius piece of intuition in one of the most effective communications campaigns of all-time. The symbol of Inter had become the symbol of Pirelli.

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For me, as I’d never played for a Rio team at a high level, it’s a way of being close to my city.

Safety, high performance, reliability and the maximum speed possible were the themes of the advert. Or in another, single word: Ronaldo. The Brazilian symbol of excellence was the player after Pelè and before Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo who could bring fans of all teams together in agreement. The other symbol of Brazil is probably Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain, looking out over Rio de Janeiro.

“Power is Nothing Without Control” is a slogan that has entered the popular imagination. When this happens, it’s a sign that a publicity campaign has hit its target. Carl Lewis was the face of the campaign in 1994. The ‘Son of the Wind’, the American was one of the greatest sprinters ever. The advert saw him run on water, across the desert and he challenged the laws of physics by running on the Statue of Liberty.


The 1994 marketing campaign Power is Nothing Without Control from the agency Young & Rubicam was entrusted to an exceptional spokesperson in the multiple Olympic champion Carl Lewis. The campaign was destined to make history in the field of publicity and communication. Annie Leibovitz made the printed versions while Gerard de Thame was given responsibility for directing the television version with amazing special effects. In 1997, a new athlete took over in Marie-Josè Pèrec who was the fastest woman in the world. In 1998, it was the Brazilian phenomenon Ronaldo with the famous ‘Corcovado’ campaign.