Larry Crowne Opens Today

Larry Crowne opens today nationwide. Read our review here and enter our Larry Crowne t-shirt, $25 gas card, and notebook giveaway, which ends tomorrow (Saturday).

If those stakes aren’t high enough for you, Fandango’s Larry Crowne Sweepstakes offers a 150cc Genuine Buddy St. Tropez as the grand prize.

Genuine Scooter Co. has a marketing relationship with the studio, but PiaggioUSA’s marketing department couldn’t resist getting in on the action. Piaggio’s marketing department emailed a letter to dealers bragging about the appearance of Piaggio and Vespa scooters in the film, and praising Vespa Dallas’s group ride to a screening, with a link to a local news video.

4 thoughts on “Larry Crowne Opens Today”

  1. Nice. I gotta say it’s nice to see Piaggio has dropped the high class pretense for their whoring.

  2. Point well made. Piaggio USA has seemed to be coasting a bit on marketing and promotion. Granted at Amerivespa, the local Piaggio dealer hosted a great meet & greet, and they and or Piaggio may have made some significant behind the scenes contributions, but it seemed like the major corporate player was Kymco, not Piaggio. I’ve heard some some folks joke that the event should be called ‘AmeriKymco’.

    To be fair, from a strictly business perspective, I can understand Piaggio USA not paying for the privilege of product placement, since your stuff will be on display anyway. Seriously, how odd would a ‘scooter gang’ look WITHOUT any Vespas? Any businessperson who wants to stay in business has to evaluate what they’re getting vs. what they’re giving. You’re in business to ultimately make some money while providing a useful product or service, and if you’re running an event and want corporate support, you need to be able to make a business case to the vendor you’re soliciting.

    Since ‘Vespa’ has become almost as generic a name for a product (scooters), as ‘Coke’ for all cola drinks, or ‘Kleenex’ for all tissues, it’s understandable they’d want to coast on their own coattails, especially in this tight business environment, and only spend promotion dollars where they have the best potential return. The danger in the long term is that more hungry, aggressive rivals like Kymco and Genuine will eventually by dint of constant effort build up a large and loyal market base of their own and go from nipping at Piaggo’s heels to eating their lunch – and dinner!

  3. Piaggio does seem to treat the American market as the ‘red-headed bastard stepchild’. Consider it’s support of Vespa World Days v. what they do here. Of course, the Eurozone is a bigger market, to be sure. But given their to date desultory marketing efforts, it’s no wonder the US market remains largely moribund. The ’boutique’ marketing approach made sense in large affluent urban markets during the relatively flush ‘Oughts’, but since the recession, started, even the folks with money are less keen to part with it.

    Part of Piaggio’s problem is lack of product range across price points. They largely own the high-end, but really don’t have anything to go head-to head with more affordable scoots like the hugely popular Buddy (anyone seen a Piaggio ‘Fly’ owners group like Modern Buddy?). Lack of aggressive mass marketing doesn’t help, either. Has anyone seen much of the ‘Vespanomics’ ad campaign outside of the scootering world? Aggressive sponsorship and support of rider training programs like the Basic Rider Course could help get people to consider scooters as an alternative to the second car.

    As long as Piaggio’s North American marketing efforts are marked by their parsimony, they will struggle.

  4. Saw Larry Crowne today–a cute romantic comedy. I liked all the scooters, of course! I really identified with Tom Hank’s first ride when he ran into tables and dumped his scoot; I also dumped my Aprilia the first day I rode it. When Hanks picked up Julie Roberts, I thought her expression would be the same my wife would wear if she had to ride a scoot! The movie needed more scooter scenes and fewer classroom scenes altho I certainly learned how NOT to conduct an Econ class.
    Larry G

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