Boat shows are so 2007.
That's the sentiment coming from Italian boatbuilder Pershing, which chose to unveil its new 64-footer not alongside other Ferretti Group models at the Antibes Boat Show that began on April 17, but instead the next day at Milan's architecture and design event called FuoriSalone. The boat spent its world debut days far from marina docks filled with brokers and buyers, moored in the Naviglio Grande canal in front of Vicolo dei Lavandai, where furniture designers and artists gathered.
"The idea of bringing a yacht into the heart of Milan and using a showcase like the FuoriSalone show," Pershing President Tilli Antonelli said in a press release, "is without doubt a drastic and completely original decision for the yachting world."
You can say that again. The statement Pershing is making about its new 64 is that it is more than just a boat.
In fact, Pershing worked with Bologna-based communications consultant AdmCom to launch an ad campaign around the words "this is more than," playing on the FuoriSalone campaign that the show is "more than an event." The idea is to consider how everything in the world is more than it appears. Trams in the Milan, for instance, were emblazoned with signs that read "this is more than a tram," encouraging you to consider, say, the tram's visual effect on the skyline in addition to its function as a people-moving machine.
The Pershing version of "this is more than" became interactive at the website thisismorethan.com, where anyone could sign in to take a seven-question quiz about inventions. Typical questions, which allowed 15 seconds for a response, included "Who invented the telephone?" Only those quiz-takers who "won" the game were invited to tour the new 64 during FuoriSalone.
I wouldn't have made the cut, as I knew only four of the answers—but then again, like my colleagues in the European boating industry, I wouldn't have been in Milan anyway during the same days as the Antibes Boat Show.
Pershing's premiere of this new model is certainly creative. Whether it sells any boats, we'll have to wait and see.